April 22, 2018
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Maine gets $4.85 million to help laid-off workers in high-demand industries

By BDN Staff, Special to the BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s Department of Labor will get $4.85 million in federal dollars through a new program to help laid-off workers in high-demand industries.

The grant award is part of about $150 million that was available to states from the U.S. Department of Labor, according to an announcement by U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins. Maine was one of 32 states to receive money through the program, which provides job-coaching and job-matching services for laid-off workers.

According to federal labor officials, the money will be used to support on-the-job training, registered apprenticeships or other occupation training that leads to an industry-specific credential.

In the Maine Department of Labor’s application for the grant, the agency indicated the program would benefit people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer and have or are about to exhaust their unemployment benefits.

The department also said it has already received interest in work-based training programs with a number of employers in the state, including: St. Croix Tissue in Baileyville, manufacturer S.F. Pathway in Lewiston and Cianbro Corp. in Pittsfield. Those industry-specific training programs also have received interest from natural gas pipeline companies and boat builders.

The award is the second batch of federal funding announced for Maine in as many days. A state program to help unemployment benefit recipients with job searches got an extra $1.5 million on Wednesday.

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