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Senator Collins Secures Nearly $4.6 Million in Funding Bill to Support Workforce Development in Maine

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins announced that she secured $4,561,000 to help promote workforce development opportunities across Maine.  A senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins pushed to include the funding in the draft Fiscal Year 2022 Labor Appropriations bill that was released yesterday afternoon.  The legislation must still be voted upon by the full Senate and House.


“In addition to competing in a global economy, our nation faces the challenge of emerging from a historic pandemic,” said Senator Collins.  “Business owners throughout Maine have told me that they have jobs available but have difficulty finding qualified and trained workers to fill these vacant positions.  Job training creates economic opportunities by aligning employees’ skills with employers’ needs, preparing individuals for a successful future in their chosen field.  By supporting workforce development programs at Maine’s Community Colleges and Eastern Maine Development Corp., this funding will provide students with the skills they need to prepare for rewarding careers in the logging, seafood, manufacturing, agriculture, and wind energy industries.  I will continue to champion these investments as the appropriations process moves forward.”


Details on the five workforce development projects Senator Collins requested are below:


Northern Maine Community College Mechanized Logging Operations Training Program

Recipient: Northern Maine Community College

Project Location: Presque Isle, ME

Amount: $1,000,000

Purpose: To purchase equipment and develop curriculum for Northern Maine Community College’s Mechanized Logging Operations program. This successful program has placed graduates into well-paying logging careers by providing training with the latest technology to meet the industry’s needs. Students learn hands-on while operating highly technical, industry-standard equipment with field instructors.


Building the Next Generation of Maine’s Seafood Workforce

Recipient: Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center

Project Location: Calais, ME

Amount: $977,000

Purpose: To establish a comprehensive community college training program at Washington County Community College and Southern Maine Community College for Maine’s seafood workforce.  The curriculum will include seafood processing, logistics, transportation, marketing, and sales.


Maine Community College System Accelerated and Expanded Manufacturing Training

Recipient: Southern Maine Community College

Project Location: South Portland, ME

Amount: $996,000

Purpose: To acquire a mobile welding training lab for use by the Maine Community College System through all seven colleges. This lab would provide welding skill instruction and in-demand job training for workers and trainees at locations convenient to them throughout the state.


Agricultural Worker Training, Placement, and Support Program

Recipient: Eastern Maine Development Corporation

Project Location: Bangor, ME

Amount: $600,000

Purpose: To develop a program, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, to train agricultural workers. Participants would develop the skills needed to work with the latest technologies in the agriculture industry.


Northern Maine Community College Expansion of Safety Training for Wind Turbine Technicians

Recipient: Northern Maine Community College

Project Location: Presque Isle, ME

Amount: $988,000

Purpose: To expand technical and safety workforce training for wind turbine technicians by hiring additional faculty and acquiring and installing instructional technology and safety equipment. Through a collaborative effort with Maine Maritime Academy, Northern Maine Community College proposes to become an international training provider in the wind power industry, supporting this growing workforce in the Northeast.