July 24, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 24, 2019
Media Contact: Jessica Picard, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5099 or email@example.com
Maine Department of Labor Awarded Over $998,000 Grant for Workforce Data Systems
AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) Center for Workforce Research and Information has been awarded a $998,737 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its state workforce data systems. The U.S. Department of Labor announced on July 22 that it was awarding a total of $11.1 million in Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grants to nine states.
MDOL will use the grant, awarded over a three-year period, to improve current operations and expand the database of the Maine Education and Attainment Navigation System (MaineEARNS), a data series designed to shed light on the effect of education program completions and other economic events on earnings over time. This grant will help improve data quality, increase the breadth of available data, address reporting needs, improve the MaineEARNS website, and increase the amount of information available to the public.
"We understand the challenge that having such a tight labor market presents to the state, and MDOL is using innovative strategies and data to address it," Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said. Grant resources such as the WDQI grant and our recent grant to expand apprenticeship will allow us to build on our work of connecting Mainers with high-wage jobs and employers with a skilled workforce. Now is the time to be proactive and ensure that every Mainer, including those with disabilities, immigrants, older workers, youth, and formerly incarcerated have equal opportunities to join the workforce if they choose.
MDOL received a $752,812.68 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in July to expand the Maine Apprenticeship Program. The grant funds will be used to increase the program's capacity and efficiency by placing more apprentices with employers across the state and providing support for apprenticeship participants, as well as to fund technology updates.
MDOL plans to enroll an additional 450 apprentices as well as develop new apprenticeship programs in targeted sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, and construction. Currently Maine has 776 registered apprentices and 105 registered apprenticeship programs, serving 173 employers.
The Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.