Curry bill to evaluate needs for workforce development in Waldo County heads to Governor

Thu, 06/10/2021 - 2:00pm

AUGUSTA — A bill from Senator Chip Curry, D-Belfast, was enacted Wednesday by the Maine Senate, according to a news release. 

LD 814, “Resolve, Directing the Maine Community College System To Evaluate the Need To Expand Workforce Training Options in Waldo County,” received unanimous support.

“One of the biggest issues here in Waldo County is workforce development,” said Sen. Curry. “We have workers and job opportunities, but employers are struggling to find qualified candidates. By increasing access to job training programs, we increase opportunities for folks here in Waldo County. This bill helps people get real-world skills and training that translates in to careers. Having real world, local trainings, we help our workforce, small businesses, and families.”

LD 814 directs the Maine Community College System to identify and examine the need for additional workforce development resources in Waldo County.

The key industries focused on include electrical trades, carpentry, nursing, HVAC and more. The study also will recommend the best ways for expanding workforce development training in Waldo County, including a timeline and associated costs and facility needs.

The Maine Economic Development Strategy pinpoints two necessary strategies to build a successful, diverse, and sustainable economy: growing existing local talent and attracting new talent.

“As our economy changes, an increasing number of jobs will require training or education beyond a high school diploma,” the release stated. “With most Waldo County residents live over 25 miles away from a community college, a range of options for workforce development needs to be considered. Maine needs to provide opportunities for individuals to earn necessary qualifications to hold the jobs in our economy.” 

LD 814 now goes to the desk of Governor Janet Mills, who has 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to take effect without her signature.