Governor's Energy Office
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, have long 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, an initiative focused on preparing more Maine people for jobs in growing clean energy and energy efficiency fields, providing avenues for business support, advancing innovation in the clean energy sector, and achieving 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 Workforce Initiative, through the Clean Energy Partnership, will provide funding for programs that advance clean energy workforce development and training. The initiative will also support the development of an online platform for promoting training opportunities and connecting workers to jobs in the sector. Efforts will be focused on supporting workers and businesses most affected by the pandemic. Additionally, the Maine Department of Labor will receive $1.5 million from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to expand existing and develop new apprenticeship opportunities for in-demand clean energy fields, with an emphasis on increasing apprenticeships among under-represented communities.
The Clean Energy Partnership will also receive $2.5 million to deliver fiscal relief and support Maine's vital clean energy small businesses in their recovery and growth following pandemic economic impacts.