Clean Energy Partnership - Innovation Initiative

Governor's Energy Office

Allocation: $2,500,000

Status: Active

Nationally, the clean energy sector has been adding jobs at a rate seventy percent faster than other economic sectors. Careers spanning from electricians to HVAC technicians to engineers offer good-paying jobs for established workers seeking new opportunities and young people seeking careers. However, Maine needs additional skilled workers to fill these jobs and also lags behind other New England states in its number of clean energy jobs per capita. Energy efficiency companies, of which there are more than 1,500 in Maine with 99 percent having fewer than 100 employees, along with other clean energy sectors, identified workforce scarcity as an obstacle for growth, which was exacerbated by the pandemic. The pandemic presented additional obstacles to clean energy companies in the state.

The Governor's Energy Office will launch the Clean Energy Partnership to prepare more Maine people for jobs in growing clean energy and energy efficiency fields, provide avenues for small business support, advance innovation in the clean energy sector, and achieve Governor Mills' goal of 30,000 clean energy jobs in Maine by 2030. The Partnership will convene state agencies, private-sector partners, Maine's community colleges, the University of Maine system, labor organizations, municipalities, and others to develop programs and tools to grow the clean energy workforce and support businesses in Maine.

The Clean Energy Innovation Initiative, through the Clean Energy Partnership, will fund programs that support clean energy small businesses and startups, which will lead to expanded innovation in the sector, and provide relief to those businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. These supports may include fiscal relief from pandemic impacts, funding for business planning services and technical assistance, and opportunities for mentorship.

The Clean Energy Partnership will also receive $4 million to grow the clean energy workforce in Maine and the Department of Labor will receive $1.5 million to expand apprenticeship opportunities for in-demand clean energy fields.