Promoting education and training for Maine people

Update: December 6, 2019

The Office for Family Independence (OFI) administers and supports a number of programs designed to help eligible Maine families improve their long-term stability through targeted job training, educational assistance, and support for eating healthy on a budget. These efforts include Parents as Scholars, ASPIRE, the Food Supplement Employment and Training (FSET) program, and Maine SNAP-ed.

Beginning in January, OFI will build on this work through the launch of a new program offering a robust set of supports for low-income parents and caretakers seeking higher education and skills training. Higher Opportunity for Pathways to Employment (HOPE) will help participants with minor children to pay for books and supplies, tuition, transportation, and child care. Throughout their time in school, students will also have access to navigators who can help guide them through course selection, financial aid applications, and accessing other school and community resources.

In addition to this work, OFI also supports younger students through the Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) program. JMG is a nonprofit in Maine offering a continuum of support to help students transition from middle school through high school graduation and on to post-secondary education through degree attainment and connections to career pathways.

Recognizing JMG as an important resource in the state of Maine, OFI has increased its financial support by nearly $1 million a year and extended this commitment through the spring of 2024. This additional funding will make it possible for JMG to add two new locations for its High School Completion Program and add another eight junior high and high school programs, among other initiatives.

Throughout the state, these efforts help to support Mainers working towards higher levels of education and job security while promoting greater health and wellbeing for families. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is proud to support these students and families and we continue to coordinate with the Maine Department of Labor to provide Maine people with greater educational and training opportunities.