Lewiston Adult Education construction training program graduate Pedro Nsalambi speaks at a June 3 news conference in which Governor Janet Mills announced funding for apprenticeship programs.
Governor Janet Mills announced $12.3 million in grants to 14 organizations to expand apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across Maine.
Lewiston Adult Education is one of the recipients. It has received a $1.3 million grant to create pre-apprenticeship programs in the construction trades and healthcare occupations, including personal support specialist, certified nursing assistant and medical assistant.
Mills announced the grants during a visit to Lewiston Adult Education’s Adult Learning Center at Longley School on June 3.
“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,” Mills said. “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.”
She visited classrooms after her speech to learn more about nursing and technology classes.
“We are excited and eager to begin the process of building apprenticeship pathways in healthcare, construction and manufacturing, to leverage the resources within our school community, including Lewiston Regional Technical Center, to increase the depth and breadth of workforce trainings that are critical to economic development and will provide opportunities for adults throughout our state to achieve their career goals. This work will strengthen our economy, enhance collaboration between employers and education academies, and it will bring a future of hope to the Lewiston community and to the entire state of Maine,” Lewiston Adult Education Director Jen Tiner said.
Lewiston Adult Education construction training program graduate Pedro Nsalambi also spoke at the news conference. He showed one the certificates he received as part of his workforce training class.
The 14 organizations awarded funds will partner with the Maine Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program to expand or develop new apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. 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, and add 150 new employer sponsors.
One expansion is the addition of the state’s first roofing and siding apprenticeship, which will be established and run by Industrial Roofing Co. in Lewiston. Apprenticeship programs offer Maine residents the opportunity to learn a skill or trade through paid, on-the-job training combined with classroom instruction
Other recipients included General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Portland Adult Education, Associated General Contractors of Maine and Revision Energy. Funding for the Jobs Plan is through the American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $4.5 billion in stimulus funds to Maine in 2021.