LEWISTON — Governor Janet Mills on Friday announced $12.3 million in grants to 14 organizations to expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across Maine.
During a stop at Lewiston Adult Education, one of the recipients, Mills said funding came primarily from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, with additional funding from the US Department of Labor. The money is expected to more than double the number of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship slots in the state to 3,000.
Mills called the programs a “win-win” for the state. “They’re a win for our workers, they’re a win for employers, they’re a win for our economy,” she said.
Apprenticeship programs offer young adults the opportunity to learn a skill or trade through paid, on-the-job training combined with classroom instruction in areas such as health care, construction, plumbing , heating/ventilation/air conditioning, welding, shipbuilding and marine, and engineering.
“Apprentices in Maine, who completed their program in the past two years, increased their wages by an average of almost 40%, even at the height of the pandemic,” Mills said.
She added that 94% of apprentices stayed with their sponsoring employer after graduation. The AFL-CIO executive director pointed out that upon completion of an apprenticeship, individuals have little or no debt, earn a degree or certification, and have a well-paying job.
The funding is also expected to add 150 new employer sponsors, more than doubling the existing number. The 14 organizations that received funding will partner with the Maine Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship Program to expand or develop new apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. One of these expansions is the addition of the state’s first roofing and siding apprenticeship, which will be established and operated by Lewiston-based Industrial Roofing Co.. Other new areas of training include hospitality and culinary arts and health care.
The 14 subsidized organizations are:
Maine Associated General Contractors: It will develop a pre-apprenticeship immersion program, designed for local high school seniors as an introduction to the trades, as well as expand apprenticeship programs for new crane operators, heavy highway construction workers, commercial carpenters and electricians.
Educating Maine: In partnership with Jackson Laboratory, Hancock County Technical Center, MDI Adult Education and Regional School Unit 24 Adult Education in Sullivan, Educate Maine plans to develop pre-apprenticeship and infrastructure apprenticeship programs to lead to occupations such as technician HVAC, Maintenance Mechanic and Stationary Engineer.
Career and Technical Education Center: The Farmington School plans to become an Intermediate Learning Sponsor to serve high school students through the development of a new pre-learning program that will include core academics and core skills building and connect to opportunities registered apprenticeship being developed with local employers in construction, healthcare, manufacturing and culinary arts.
General Dynamics Bain Iron Works: In partnership with Southern Maine Community College, BIW will expand its Manufacturing Technician Pre-Apprenticeship Program to increase the number of people for its apprenticeship programs.
Gorham School District: The Gorham School District plans to expand its training programs for current high school students into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship offerings for the Certified Practical Nurse, Commercial Driver and Early Childhood Educator programs childhood.
HospitalityMaine Education Foundation: It aims to develop seven new apprenticeship occupations for the hospitality industry, including event planner and manager, kitchen manager, accommodation manager and accounting technician, and to increase the use of apprenticeship opportunities at the within the hospitality industry by helping several employers become apprenticeship sub-sponsors.
Industrial roofing company.: The Lewiston company will establish a new Roofing Registered Apprenticeship Program to certify trainers as National Center for Construction Education and Research Instructors to deliver NCCER training and certification to new apprentices.
Lewiston Adult Education/Lewiston Public Schools: Plans to become a Registered Intermediate Apprenticeship Sponsor and create pre-apprenticeship programs in construction trades and health professions, including Personal Support Specialist, Certified Nursing Assistant and Physician Assistant.
Maine AFL-CIO: In partnership with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1253 in Newport, New England Laborers Training Academy, Maine Building and Construction Trades Council and Regional School Unit 19 in Newport, Maine AFL-CIO plans to develop three new pre-apprenticeship programs focused on basic program delivery.
MaineHealth: MaineHealth will develop pre-apprenticeship tracks for phlebotomy, certified practical nurse, and physician assistant and expand the scope to increase enrollment in apprenticeship programs.
Portland Adult Education: It will create pre-apprenticeship opportunities in healthcare and clean energy in partnership with ReVision Energy, MaineHealth and Northern Light Health, with a focus on providing opportunities for non-native English speakers.
Energy Review: An apprenticeship sponsor since 2019, it will expand its apprenticeship programs by enhancing its existing electrician apprenticeship program and expanding into three new occupations: customer service, technical sales and operations management. through partnerships with Portland Adult Education and Learning Works.
Somerset Career and Technical Center: It will hire an apprenticeship navigator to expand apprenticeship programs and develop a new pre-apprenticeship program that will allow more students to be hired as apprentices in banking, insurance, HVAC, business management and other areas.
Washington County Community College: It will hire a learning navigator to increase learning capacity and support apprentices and pre-apprentices in many fields, including aquaculture, retail and healthcare.
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