Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Education Programs

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is Governor Mills’ plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.

The Maine Department of Education continues to make investments through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to support pre-k through adult learners, foster innovation, connect education and industry, and ensure students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers and life. 

Expanding Public Pre-K in Maine

Investment in early learning opportunities supports whole student development and leads to stronger academic outcomes.  The pandemic revealed the inequity of availability of child care and pre-kindergarten across Maine. The Pre-K Expansion Grant opportunity is designed to support public schools in starting and/or expanding public pre-k programs, on their own or through partnerships with early childhood providers, to increase the number of Maine 4-year-olds who have access to high quality early childhood programming. One round of grant funding has been awarded to 12 SAUs for the 2022-23 school year and the availability of a second round of funding was just announced for the 2023-24 school year.

Learn More:

Upcoming Program Dates: 

  • August 5, 2022–RFA released

  • August 23, 2023–Informational session for interested parties, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • September 22, 2022-RFA question submittal deadline

  • September 30, 2022—RFA answers to questions posted publicly

  • October 13, 2022—RFA submission deadline

Contact: Lee Anne Larsen, Director of Early Learning, leeann.larsen@maine.gov 

Strengthening Maine’s Adult Workforce

The Maine Job’s and Recovery Plan has committed $6 million dollars to address the workforce development needs of those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Maine’s Department of Education will help eligible adults and employment sectors recover from the stresses of the pandemic through a variety of academic and job training supports.

Education and Employment Seeker Supports to be in place Summer 2022

Career Advancement and Navigator Supports

These adult education-based navigators will serve primarily in geographic areas of the state with less access to post-secondary and other educational opportunities as well as support services. These areas include the counties of York, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Oxford, Lincoln, Waldo, Knox, and Sagadahoc. 

College and Career Success Coordinators

An adult education success coordinator will be placed on each of the seven community college campuses. Coordinators will be responsive to the needs of current and perspective community college students who may need additional assistance with advising and career planning or in acquiring the academic skills needed to successfully complete college level work. Adult education students will also be provided with the assistance and supports needed to make a successful transition to community college.

Education and Training Grants RFA to be Available Summer 2022

English language acquisition

This federal funding, awarded through a statewide competitive grant process for adult education providers, will enable programs statewide to provide English language acquisition services to best meet needs appropriate for their communities and eligible employers. Barriers to employment and education faced by English language learners have severely impacted their recovery from COVID-19’s financial impacts and will be addressed by these grant opportunities.

Contact: Megan Dichter, Adult Ed Workforce Development/ESL Coordinator, Megan.Dichter@maine.gov 

Expanding Extended Learning Opportunity Programs for Maine Students

The Extended Learning Opportunity Program seeks to assist publicly funded School Administrative Units (SAUs) in adopting and/or expanding Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Programs in Maine to help Maine youth gain a better understanding of their career opportunities, acquire valuable foundational and 21st Century skills, as well as create meaningful connections to employers in our state. ELOs are hands-on, credit-bearing experiences outside of the traditional classroom with an emphasis on community-based career exploration. These programs include paid work experiences, expanding educational opportunities in rural Maine, work skills development, and increasing engagement of otherwise disengaged youth. Grants totaling more than $5.6 million were recently announced for 26 programs across Maine covering 13 counties.

Learn More:

Contact: Rick Wilson, Workforce Development and Innovative Pathways Career Education Specialist, Rick.Wilson@Maine.gov 

Supporting and Expanding CTE Schools’ Personnel Infrastructure, Equipment Upgrades, and Infrastructure

Maine's Career and Technical Education (CTE) schools offer middle school and high school students applied learning opportunities that prepare them to meet the state's immediate and future need for a skilled workforce. CTE programs are aligned with national and state industry standards which prepare students for 21st century skills necessary for tomorrow's high-wage careers and fast-growing economic sectors.

In alignment with the state's 10-year Economic Development Strategy, Maine's Department of Education will provide grants to upgrade infrastructure and equipment in Maine's 27 Career and Technical Education schools. These investments will align technical education with future industry standards and allow students to learn on the most up-to-date technology.

Learn More:

  • Personnel Infrastructure/Equipment Grants (closed May 5, 2022). These grants support expansion of innovative CTE programs, personnel infrastructure (teachers and/or paraprofessionals) and equipment. Award notifications have been posted and the state CTE team is currently meeting with schools to discuss awards.
  • Infrastructure Grants: Application Portal (open until September 22, 2022).  These grants will support infrastructure projects (construction of new facilities, additions to existing buildings, renovations or remodeling of existing buildings).

Contacts: Dwight Littlefield, CTE Director, Dwight.Littlefield@Maine.gov or Steve Airoldi, CTE Project Manager, Steve.Airoldi@Maine.gov