Mills Administration Announces $3.5 Million in Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grants to Strengthen Key Employment Pipelines Bookmark and Share

October 3, 2022

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2022

Mills Administration Announces $3.5 Million in Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Grants to Strengthen Key Employment Pipelines

Six Organizations to Receive "Industry Partnership" Awards

Augusta, MAINE - The Mills Administration announced that six organizations have been awarded $3.5 million through Governor Mills' Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to develop initiatives that help Maine businesses recruit and retain employees.

Through the "Industry Partnerships" program, originally announced by the Mills Administration in May, the Maine Department of Labor will provide grants to six training and educational organizations to develop initiatives to recruit and retain skilled workers who can meet the needs of businesses across the State of Maine. The program aims to create a pipeline of workers through structured career pathways within sectors that can continually provide businesses with employees and Maine people with good-paying job opportunities.

"At the direction of Governor Mills, the Maine Department of Labor has been working to bring private employers, non-profit organizations, and the public sector together to strengthen opportunities for Maine workers," said Department of Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman. "This initiative will not only help Maine industries disproportionately impacted by the pandemic but create good employment opportunities for Maine people for years to come."

"Organizations across Maine are working to connect people with the education, training, and professional development opportunities they need to succeed in our states most critical industries," said Guy Langevin, chair of the Maine State Workforce Board and chief administrative officer of Dead River Company. "These Industry Partnership Grants will provide a unique way to bring those organizations together to achieve our goal of building a stronger workforce in the State of Maine."

The six "Industry Partnership" grants were awarded to:

  • The Maine Development Foundation, which will work to implement recommendations from the Forest Opportunity Roadmap, known as (FOR)/Maine, by developing career and educational pathways for important forestry jobs in partnership with the Maine Forest Products Council, LP Corp, Fox Forestry, Hancock Lumber, Lumbra Hardwood, Eastern Maine Development Corp, and the Maine Community College System.
  • The Maine Tourism Association, which will work to connect students, parents, job seekers, and the public to jobs in hospitality and tourism, to create trainings for current industry employees aimed at retaining talented staff, and to showcase opportunities for career growth in the industry.
  • The Maine Business Education Partnership, which will create the Retail Career Pathways partnership aimed at recruiting, training, and enhancing professional development opportunities for workers in the retail sector. The program will also introduce career pathways in retail to students, helping them navigate career advancement opportunities in retail industries.
  • The Childrens Oral Health Network of Maine, which will work to expand the oral health workforce statewide by creating a new "learn as you earn" training program for dental assistant and hygienist careers.
  • The ""Roux Institute at Northeastern University"", which will develop a pilot program to connect pre-clinical, post-graduate students with health care opportunities in Maine to address short-term and long-term health care industry needs. This initiative will also convene health care providers in the state to identify critical job openings.
  • The ""Maine Labor and Resource Center"", which will unite 22 community-based organizations and approximately 75 small businesses to partner on workforce development within health care and social services fields. This partnership will work directly with employers to support career pathways, advancement, and recruiting for immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Maine.

The Maine Department of Labor accepted applications from organizations as part of a competitive review process through June 28. Final grant award amounts are still being determined.

This investment is the latest initiative by the Mills Administration to strengthen the states workforce and create good-paying jobs in rewarding careers.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governors plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan includes approximately $300 million in workforce investments, including the "Industry Partnerships" program, funding to more than double apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in Maine, and a series of initiatives to invest in health care workers, including scholarships and student loan relief for individuals in health care professions; new recruitment efforts to encourage young people to enter careers in health care; the creation of health care career navigators to help people interested in health care fields determine the right career path for them; and marketing campaigns including the Caring for ME campaign to educate and encourage residents to become direct care providers.