Maine awards grants to support innovative workforce transportation

Posted: 6 June 2023 | | No comments yet

In line with the state’s plan to combat climate change, the $1 million in grants will help enhance workforce transportation in Maine, connecting workers to employers and promoting public transit use.

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Governor Janet Mills has announced that almost $1 million in grants has been allocated from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for workforce transportation projects in York and Oxford counties in the State of Maine, U.S. The grants aim to enhance transportation options for employees in Lewiston-Auburn and provide support to employers in these counties.

The grants are part of the Workforce Transportation Pilot Program, which is a component of Governor Mills’ Jobs Plan. The programme focuses on connecting workers with employers through ride-sharing, vanpools and other transit options.

The three grants have awarded to the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce, Western Maine Transportation Services and Maine West, a division of the University of Maine System. Previous grants have been given to companies like Bath Iron Works, Gagne Foods, Timber HP, Robbins Lumber and Sunday River.

“Lack of transportation shouldn’t be a barrier that keeps anyone who can work from holding a job – especially at a time when Maine businesses desperately need workers,” said Governor Janet Mills. “These investments from my Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan will support innovative projects that help to connect workers with the Maine businesses that need them.”

“We are proud to keep working to help Maine employers find solutions to their workforce challenges,” said Bruce Van Note, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan funding continues to fill specific transportation needs and help support economic opportunities in our state.”

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The Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce received a $476,000 grant to establish a new transit service connecting Biddeford, Sanford and downtown Kennebunk. This service will also provide transportation connections for workers to employers in Kennebunk’s Lower Village and Kennebunkport.

In addition, the University of Maine System and Maine West will utilise their $283,000 grant to purchase vehicles that connect students from four school districts to outdoor recreation opportunities. The project aims to provide training, work experience and mentorship to prepare students for employment.

With a grant of $225,000, Western Maine Transportation Services will extend service hours and explore potential route adjustments to better accommodate the transportation needs of workers and employers in the Lewiston-Auburn region.

The Workforce Transportation Pilot Program aligns with Maine’s plan to combat climate change, ‘Maine Won’t Wait‘, by promoting public transportation. Applications for the programme are open, and interested parties are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Approximately $2 million remains to be awarded.

The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, approved by the Legislature, aims to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds. It seeks to improve lives, support businesses, create high-paying jobs and build a prosperous economy. Since its implementation, the plan has provided economic relief to small businesses, supported infrastructure projects and invested in workforce programmes benefitting 22,000 people across Maine.

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