Putting federal American Recovery Plan funds into action at MCCS

As we move towards a post-pandemic economy, Maine Community College System (MCCS) is working to unleash a more powerful workforce in years to come. That work is focused in areas important to the long-term growth and economic development plans in Maine.


MCCS will use the $35 million in one-time federal funds to implement efficient, effective strategies for expanding Maine’s workforce in an era of economic transition.


MCCS priorities are aligned with the State’s 10-year economic development strategy and strengthens the education backbone of the state’s current and future workforce.


Specifically, our programs are in critical industry sectors, geographically distributed around the state, and we recruit and retain students of all walks of life so they can find meaningful work right here in Maine.


We know this model works. We regularly hear from students and business partners that Maine’s community colleges are providing life-changing and career making training every day. We are committed to continuing and expanding that good work, so Mainers can participate in a thriving post-pandemic economic landscape.


The $35 million in federal American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds will provide support for short-term training for approximately 8,500 Mainers over the life of the funding in the following workforce sectors:


Healthcare:

MCCS will use ARP funding to support about 3,800 additional health care workers in the following disciplines: Certified Nurse Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, Medical Assistants, Phlebotomy Technicians, Surgical Technicians, Pharmacy Technicians, and Emergency Medical Technicians.


The value of that training will be enhanced as we work in coordination with Maine's largest healthcare systems, and evolve career ladder training programs where, for example, a Certified Nurse Assistant can use prior education and experience to become a nursing candidate and ultimately a registered nurse.


The Green Economy:

MCCS will use ARP funding to train 1,400 technicians in the following disciplines: Electric Vehicle Automotive Technicians, Journey Electricians, Heat Pump Installation Technicians, and Solar Panel Installation Technicians.


MCCS is working closely with the Maine Energy Office to expand training for the high-demand green economy workforce that is critical for heat pump, solar panel, and wind power installations and maintenance. This training meets workforce demands and supports Maine's Climate Plan goals.


Northern Maine Community College, home to one of only two Wind Power Technology programs in New England, is also engaging in collaborative efforts with Maine Maritime Academy to support advanced wind power installation and maintenance technicians.


Manufacturing:

MCCS will use ARP funds to train approximately 900 people in the following disciplines: Welding, Manufacturing Technicians, Precision Manufacturing Technicians, Additive Manufacturing Technicians, and Mechatronics Technicians in Facility and Equipment Maintenance.


Maine has a unique opportunity to reposition and rebuild its manufacturing sector -- filling orders that manufacturers in other states cannot. The modern manufacturing sector offers high-paying skill-based jobs but struggles to find qualified workers. Despite high unemployment numbers, many unemployed Mainers lack the skills needed to access even entry level jobs in manufacturing. MCCS has short-term, certificate and degree programs to train people for those manufacturing jobs.


Hospitality:

MCCS will use ARP funds to train 500 people in the following disciplines: Superior Customer Care, Lodging Attendant, Entry Level Chefs, and Hospitality Apprentices.


Maine's hospitality industry has long been a vital asset in economic opportunity and in exposing people to a quality of life that is uniquely "Maine." MCCS is working with DECD and has expanded the partnership with Hospitality Maine (HM) to build on existing skills in safe delivery and showcase quality service. The programs with HM will embrace the changes in hospitality management, build industry recognized credentials, and develop professional, skill-based career opportunities.


Education:

MCCS will use ARP funds to train 500 people to become: Education Technicians, Early Childhood Teachers, and Child Development Associates.


Our schools have been through an incredible transformation. Teachers, in short supply before the pandemic, need more support than ever. This work will build on new programs launched during the pandemic to assist K-12 instructors.


Computer Technology:

MCCS will use ARP funds to expand training for an array of short-term training in computer skills, from entry level work to tiered Amazon Web Services training.


Aside from short-term training, MCCS offers more than 20 computer, graphics, and multimedia programs, currently enrolling almost 400 people. These programs include coding and networking training, forensic science, cybersecurity, and geographic information systems.


Trades:

MCCS will use ARP funds to train 1,200 people for a variety of trade jobs, including high pressure boiler operation, professional logging, and marine engine repair and maintenance.

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