Lewiston, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills has announced that 14 organizations will receive $12.3 million to expand apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships across Maine. The funding is expected to provide more than 3,000 Maine people with new apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship opportunities, more than doubling the number of Maine’s current apprentices.

The Governor made the announcement at Lewiston Adult Education, one of the grant recipients. The funding is an opportunity to strengthen Maine’s workforce and train more workers for meaningful, good-paying careers. Registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships are highly effective tools for workers to build their skill set and connect to high-wage careers and for employers to recruit and retain workers. 

“In the past two years, Maine apprentices who completed their program increased their average wages by nearly 40 percent and 94 percent of apprentices have continued employment with the business who sponsored their apprenticeship.

 In total, the organizations are expected to create new training and work opportunities for more than 1,000 new apprentices and 2,000 new pre-apprentices, more than doubling Maine’s current total of 1,175 apprentices. The funding is also expected to add more than 150 new employer sponsors to Maine’s current total of 121 registered sponsors.

Additionally, the awards are expected to create new apprenticeships in more than 50 new occupations – such as emergency medical technician, roofing technician, lodging manager, accounting technician, customer service and operations management – which will generate new apprenticeship pipelines for young adults, expand apprenticeships in rural areas, recruit more employers to offer apprenticeships, and increase equity in apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeships are a win for our workers, our employers, and our economy, providing on-the-job training that results in a stable workforce, good-paying jobs, and a stronger, more diverse economy,” said Governor Janet Mills. “These funds will allow organizations across Maine to expand or create new apprenticeship opportunities and more than double the number of apprentices, helping to get more people – especially younger folks – into new, exciting fields that can provide a good paycheck and strengthen our economy.”

“Apprenticeship is a career opportunity for all Mainers, it is an earn while you learn career pathway that connects real people with highly skilled jobs that exist now. Earning wages from the start, most apprentices have little to no debt when they graduate and statistically earn much higher wages as they become more and more skilled,” Jennifer McKenna, Chair of the Maine Apprenticeship Council, said. 

The 14 organizations awarded grants are:

  • Associated General Contractors of Maine: The Associated General Contractors of Maine will develop a pre-apprenticeship Immersion Program, designed for local graduating high school students as an introduction to trades, as well as expand apprenticeship programs for new crane operator, heavy highway construction laborer, commercial carpenter and electrician.
  • Educate Maine: In partnership with Jackson Laboratory, Hancock County Technical Center, MDI Adult Education, and RSU #24 Adult Education, Educate Maine plans to develop infrastructure pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to lead into occupations such as HVAC technician, maintenance mechanic, and stationery engineer.
  • Foster Career and Technical Education Center: Foster CTE in Farmington plans to become an intermediary sponsor of apprenticeship to serve current high school students through the development of a new pre-apprenticeship program that will include core academics and basic skill building and connect to registered apprenticeship opportunities under development with local employers in construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and culinary arts.
  • General Dynamics Bath Iron Works: In partnership with Southern Maine Community College, BIW will expand its manufacturing technician pre-apprenticeship program to increase the pipeline of individuals for its apprenticeship programs.
  • Gorham School District: Gorham School District plans to expand its training programs for current high school students into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship offerings for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), 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, lodging manager and accounting technician and increase the uptake of apprenticeship opportunities within the hospitality industry by supporting several employers in becoming sub-sponsors of apprenticeship.
  • Industrial Roofing Company: Industrial Roofing Company of Lewiston will establish a new registered apprenticeship program in roofing by using grant funds to certify trainers as National Center for Construction Education & Research instructors to deliver NCCER training and certification for new apprentices.
  • Lewiston Adult Education / Lewiston Public Schools: Lewiston Adult Education plans to become a registered intermediary apprenticeship sponsor and create pre-apprenticeship programs in the construction trades and healthcare occupations including personal support specialist, CNA, and medical 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 multi-craft core curriculum.
  • MaineHealth: MaineHealth will develop pre-apprenticeship tracks for phlebotomy, CNA and medical assistant and expand outreach 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.
  • ReVision Energy: ReVision Energy, an apprenticeship sponsor since 2019, will expand apprenticeship programming through enhancing their 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 & Technical Center: Somerset Career & Technical Center will hire an Apprenticeship Navigator to expand existing apprenticeship programming and develop a new pre-apprenticeship program that will enable 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 an Apprenticeship Navigator to expand apprenticeship capacity and support apprentices and pre-apprentices in many fields including aquaculture, retail, and healthcare.