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, which is one of the recipients, Mills said the funding came primarily from the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, with additional funding from the US Department of Labor. The grant money is expected to more than double the number of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship slots in the state to 3,000.
Mills called the apprenticeship 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 training in areas such as health care, construction, plumbing , HVAC, welding, shipbuilding and marine, engineering and more.
“Apprentices in Maine, who completed their program in the past two years, increased their wages by an average of nearly 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 those expansions is the addition of the state’s first roofing and cladding apprenticeship, which will be created and operated by Lewiston-based Industrial Roofing Company. Other new areas of training include hospitality and culinary arts and health care.
The 14 subsidized organizations are:
Maine Associated General Contractors: The Associated General Contractors of Maine 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, construction workers heavy highway construction, commercial carpenters and electricians.
Educating Maine: In partnership with Jackson Laboratory, Hancock County Technical Center, MDI Adult Education and RSU 24 Adult Education, Educate Maine plans to develop pre-apprenticeship and infrastructure apprenticeship programs to lead to occupations such as HVAC technician, maintenance and stationery engineer.
Career and Technical Education Center: Foster CTE in Farmington plans to become an Intermediate Learning Sponsor to serve current 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 learning programs being developed with local employers in construction, healthcare, manufacturing and the 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, CDL Driver and Early Childhood Educator programs.
HospitalityMaine Education Foundation: HospitalityMaine 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 number of apprenticeship opportunities in the hospitality industry. hospitality industry by helping several employers become apprenticeship sub-sponsors.
Industrial roofing company: Industrial Roofing Company of Lewiston will establish a new registered roofing apprenticeship program using grant funds to certify trainers as National Center for Construction Education & Research instructors to deliver NCCER training and certification to new apprentices .
Lewiston Adult Education/Lewiston Public Schools: Lewiston Adult Education plans to become a Registered Intermediate Learning Sponsor and create pre-apprenticeship programs in the construction trades and health professions, including Personal Support Specialists, CNA and Physician Assistant .
Maine AFL-CIO: In partnership with IBEW 1253, New England Laborers Training Academy, Maine Building and Construction Trades Council and RSU 19, Maine AFL-CIO plans to develop three new pre-apprenticeship programs focused on providing a multi-trades foundation curriculum .
MaineHealth: MaineHealth will develop pre-apprenticeship tracks for phlebotomy, CNA, and physician assistant and expand the scope to increase enrollment in existing apprenticeship programs.
Portland Adult Education: Portland Adult Education 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: ReVision Energy, an apprenticeship sponsor since 2019, will expand apprenticeship programs by enhancing its existing electrician apprenticeship program and expanding into three new occupations: customer service, technical sales and service management. operations through partnerships with Portland Adult Education and Learning Works.
Somerset Career and Technical Center: Somerset Career & Technical Center will hire an apprenticeship navigator to expand the existing apprenticeship program and develop a new pre-apprenticeship program which will allow more students to be hired as apprentices in banking, insurance, HVAC, business management and other fields.
Washington County Community College: Washington County Community College 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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