The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is Governor Janet Mills’ plan to invest nearly $1 billion to help Maine people, businesses, and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Jobs Plan accomplishes this by supporting Maine small businesses and heritage industries, enhancing job training and skills programs that help workers access good-paying careers in Maine, and investing in Maine people and communities by expanding child care, affordable housing, broadband, and other critical infrastructure.
The Jobs Plan was approved by the Legislature in July 2021 and the legislation enacting the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan took effect October 18, 2021. Funding for the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in funds to Maine in 2021, as part of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program.
By drawing heavily on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy, the Jobs Plan addresses known, systemic challenges that have constrained Maine’s ability to grow and thrive, with priority focus on investments to grow and develop Maine’s workforce.
Highlights of the Plan include:
- $139 million to support small businesses, including $20 million for a new small business grant program, $39 million to help lower monthly health insurance premiums, and $80 million to replenish the Maine Unemployment Trust fund and mitigate tax hikes for small businesses.
- More than $300 million in planned workforce investments, including $105 million for workforce programs at Maine schools, community colleges, and universities; $50 million for affordable and workforce housing, $20 million to expand Pre-K and child care infrastructure, and programs targeted directly at addressing pressing workforce needs in health care and clean energy fields.
- Critical infrastructure investments such as expanding broadband, enhancing state parks, accelerating weatherization and energy efficiency projects, and upgrading municipal stormwater and drinking water projects.
Implementation and coordination of the Jobs Plan is led by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.
Comments About The Jobs Plan
Eric Venturini, Executive Director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine: “Governor Mills’ decision to support Maine's farmers and food processors has a dramatic, direct, and far-reaching positive impact on Maine agriculture. This investment empowers Maine farms and businesses to innovate, grow, and build economic sustainability. Maine's iconic wild blueberry industry is well-positioned to help put these funds to work to support Maine's vibrant agricultural future.”
Luke Holden, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Luke’s Lobster: “The pandemic forced our business to pivot from production and sales tailored for the food service industry to production and sales for grocery and ecommerce channels. While we created new demand and opportunity for the Maine lobster and seafood industry, there were many costs associated with opening up these new channels and shifting production in such a dramatic way. Getting support from the State is necessary and appreciated so that we can continue to focus on ensuring a strong market for Maine's fishermen and lobstermen both here in Maine and nationwide.”
Patrick Strauch, Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council: "The Council applauds Governor Mills’ Jobs and Recovery Plan Initiative focused on Maine’s forest resource economy. It’s critical to make all sectors of our industry whole after COVID so we can continue our efforts to build a more diversified and resilient economy as global demand for more climate friendly wood-based products grows. Governor Mills knows how important our forest industry is to rural Maine communities and our workers, and we thank her for her efforts with this initiative."
Matt Damon, co-owner of Penobscot Home Performance of Brewer: “I thank Governor Mills and the Legislature for these important investments in weatherization and our workforce, which will not only help homeowners stay warm but will help small businesses like ours hire more local workers to complete energy retrofits and purchase more supplies from places like General Insulation. Weatherization may not be as visible as other infrastructure projects, but it can lead to lasting, ground-up improvements in environmental and economic resilience — and represent the types of future-looking steps Maine and the country needs to take to mitigate the effect of climate change, spur economic growth, and create a sustainable future.”
Reports and Recommendations
Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan incorporates the insight of economic, business and community leaders in Maine, a data-driven understanding of Maine’s economy before and during the pandemic, and the experiences of Maine people whose lives were disrupted by COVID-19.
Maine's 10-Year Economic Strategy
The Strategic Plan is a 10-year economic development strategy released in 2019 to harness Maine’s natural strengths and address its future challenges. To implement the plan, everyday individuals and organizations across the state are now working towards its vision of growing talent and innovation in Maine.
Economic Recovery Committee
The Governor's Economic Recovery Committee engaged economic experts and industry representatives from across Maine to develop specific policy recommendations to stabilize the state’s economy and build a bridge to future prosperity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.