June 23, 2021
Maine Awarded Over $5.5 Million Grant to Support Registered Apprenticeship
AUGUSTA - The Maine Dept. of Labor has been awarded a $5,594,187 State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, effective July 1. Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally recognized, portable credential.
The grant, which is part of more than $99 million awarded to 15 states, will help Maine continue to develop, modernize, and diversify its Registered Apprenticeship Program and accelerate its expansion.
"In Maine, there are currently 948 registered apprentices and 263 participating businesses. This grant recognizes the effectiveness of the Registered Apprenticeship model in providing a successful career pathway to high-wage occupations," Commissioner Laura Fortman said. "It also provides critical funding to begin expanding this "learn while you earn" training method, making it available to more people and businesses."
The grant will focus on expanding apprenticeship in high wage and in-demand occupations in healthcare and infrastructure, such as broadband and renewable energy, and to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion practices within these expansion efforts. Outreach efforts will stress recruiting women, people with disabilities, people of color, and justice involved individuals.
"Today's announcement reflects the Department of Labors renewed commitment to expanding Registered Apprenticeship to train U.S. workers and ensure that diversity and inclusion are core elements of our nations post-pandemic economic recovery," said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh in a June 22 press release. "Using Registered Apprenticeships to expand career opportunities for all workers, especially those in under-represented populations, is a priority for the department and a critical component of the Biden-Harris administrations American Jobs Plan."
U.S DOLs Employment and Training Administration awarded more than $99 million in State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity and Innovation grants -- ranging from $2 million to $10 million -- to bolster states efforts to expand programming and inclusive recruitment strategies to attract a diverse workforce. The awards include more than $85 million for states that demonstrated a commitment to increase their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. These grants also aim to develop partnerships with new industries and non-traditional occupations, including industry sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, and align Registered Apprenticeships with other work-based learning opportunities within state education and workforce systems.
The U.S. DOL press release can be found here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20210622