Governor Mills Celebrates Lincoln Welding Program Expansion Funded by Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan

$570,000 investment from the Governor’s Jobs Plan will allow Northern Penobscot Tech Region III to expand opportunities for certification in welding

Lincoln, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills joined community leaders today in Lincoln at a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of a major expansion of Northern Penobscot Tech Region III funded by a $570,000 investment from the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

The Governor’s investment enabled Northern Penobscot Tech Region III to significantly expand its welding program, adding nearly 600 square feet of space, 10 new welding booths, 10 new welders, and 5 ventilators. The additional space and equipment will give more area high school students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in welding, earn nationally recognized welding certification, and graduate prepared to fill critical job openings in Maine’s economy.

Governor Mills speaks to Northern Penobscot Tech students at Tuesday’s welding program expansion ribbon cutting.

Under Governor Mills, career and technical education (CTE) enrollment has grown by nearly 11 percent, with an almost 300 percent increase in exploratory program enrollment that allows freshman and sophomores to sample multiple programs to follow their interests.

“I’ve long been a believer in career and technical education programs because they teach students the real-world skills they need to launch successful careers in the trades. This expansion, funded by my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, will give more students at Northern Penobscot Tech Region III the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and certification in welding,” said Governor Janet Mills. “My Administration will continue to do all we can to help our career and technical education system prepare young people to fill in-demand jobs and succeed in meaningful careers here in Maine.”

“On behalf of the Region III community, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Governor Mills for her vision and commitment to CTE schools in Maine,” said Curt Ring, Director of Northern Penobscot Tech Region III. “Recognizing the importance of and acting to create a well-trained workforce is paramount to the success of our state.”

Northern Penobscot Tech Region III serves students from Lee Academy in Lee, Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Penobscot Valley High School in Howland, Schenck High School in East Millinocket, and Stearns High School in Millinocket. The CTE school offers students hands-on training and education that prepare them to enter into in-demand jobs upon graduation. In addition to welding, programs include automotive technology, business management, construction technology, culinary arts, and early childhood development, and healthcare, among others.

Funding for the expansion is part of a $15 million investment by Governor Mills announced earlier this year to upgrade programs, equipment, and facilities at four Maine CTE schools. That investment is part of a larger $20 million investment from the Governor’s Jobs Plan to expand CTEs across the state, including $4.5 million in awards to 23 CTE programs to purchase and upgrade equipment to enhance student learning experiences and career preparation for high-skilled, in-demand industries. 

In addition to the Jobs Plan funding, the Governor and the Legislature have increased funding for CTEs by nearly $10 million over the past four years, including a $1.6 million to assist in the increased costs of supplies and $100,000 to expand CTE early childhood education programs. The Governor’s biennial budget also proposes $500,000 to expand middle school CTE programs.

As then-Attorney General, Governor Mills also used funds she obtained through a settlement with Bath Fitter to create plumbing programs at four CTEs in Maine, including Oxford Hills Technical School in Norway, Foster Career and Technical Education Center in Farmington, Lewiston Regional Technical Center in Lewiston, and Biddeford Regional Center of Technology in Biddeford.

Maine’s 27 Career and Technical Education regions and centers enroll more than 9,800 students in 85 programs. Students learn skills and gain real-world experiences in programs ranging from plumbing and welding to culinary arts and early childhood education while completing high school. Many students are able to receive industry accreditation, earn college credits through dual-enrollment opportunities, and they graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the job market and higher education.

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

The Mills Administration released a new report and online dashboard detailing how Jobs Plan initiatives have delivered $175 million to thousands of Maine businesses, created workforce opportunities for 25,000 people, and invested in more than 400 infrastructure projects statewide to bolster childcare, broadband, energy efficiency and weatherization, housing, and more.

For more about the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, please visit