EMDC announces $600,000 WIOA youth contract in Northeastern Maine

Posted on May 5, 2022 | Success Stories

BDN Community, Bangor Daily News

BANGOR – Eastern Maine Development Corporation was awarded $600,000 to provide workforce development services to young people and businesses in Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington counties. The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act contract, unanimously awarded by the the Northeastern Workforce Development Board, reinforces EMDC’s ongoing mission of working with local agencies and stakeholders to help the unemployed find gainful employment. In particular, ACAP will partner with EMDC to serve Aroostook and northern Washington County.

In December, the NWDB awarded EMDC a parallel contract dedicated to adults and dislocated workers. Granting this youth workforce program to the same service provider will guarantee a cost and program efficiency that ensures a comprehensive employment service system in Northeastern Maine.

“The renewed contract recognizes our track record of partnerships, program delivery, and performance,” said EMDC President & CEO Lee Umphrey

EMDC and ACAP are long-standing collaborators with education partners, businesses, and industry leaders, creating sector-based training and career pathways for in-demand occupations. This hands-on support empowers job seekers to overcome barriers, including child care costs, homelessness, disability, and substance abuse disorder, to find meaningful long-term employment.

Erin Benson, EMDC senior director of Workforce Services, said, “We know what young Mainers need to succeed in the workplace. Employers tell us all the time: Education that leads to certification for in-demand jobs, supportive services to overcome financial barriers, and connection to the community. These are all critical. So all of our strategies are designed around these needs.” 

“This recent success is a testament to the EMDC Workforce team who helps people prepare and secure jobs in good times and bad,” said Umphrey. “Our colleague Vice President Jon Farley, who will be retiring after 45 years of making a profound impact on Maine’s job training and workforce development system, exemplifies these efforts and outcomes. The renewal of this contract reflects Jon’s focus on data-driven analysis, system integrity, and collaboration, which has led to programs that emphasize customer service while making EMDC a statewide leader in job training and workforce development.”  

A video salute to Farley is on the EMDC YouTube page at

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