Maine Department of Labor youth employment initiative – Getting to YES

The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) has launched an initiative called Getting to YES, Youth Employment and the Steps to Success, to promote youth employment coming into the 2018 summer season. The Department is asking for your support in spreading the word about the importance of, and opportunities for, jobs for Maine youth, and in continuing to assist us in streamlining the permitting process.

Important things to know about:

  • The permit application has changed. Please use the most recent version, which is available at this link,
  • Related, we expect the additional focus on youth employment to increase the number of permit requests you will be seeing. Please be sure to have a designee in place in your absence, so that we can continue to move the permit process along efficiently for both the employer and the student applicant.
  • MDOL is conducting workshops across the state for parents and minors (14 & 15 year-olds) to learn about what types of jobs are available, how to get that first job and keep it, and what the permit process is like. Below are the dates, times and locations of workshops near you. You are welcome to attend! FMI or to register, contact, 207-621-5095.
Site Address Date Time pm
Hall-Dale High School 97 Maple St, Farmingdale, ME 04344 4-Jun-18 6:00-7:30
Augusta CareerCenter 45 Commerce Dr., Augusta, ME 5-Jun-18 5:00-6:30
Calais CareerCenter 1 Calais Dr., Calais, ME 5-Jun-18 4:30-6:00
Machias CareerCenter 53 Prescott Dr., Machias, ME 5-Jun-18 4:30-6:00
Rockland CareerCenter 91 Camden St., Rockland, ME 5-Jun-18 6:00-7:30
Waldo County Tech Center 1022 Waterville Rd., Waldo, ME 5-Jun-18 5:00-6:00
Ashland School 180 Presque Isle Rd., Ashland, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Bangor CareerCenter 45 Oak St., Bangor ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Fort Kent Adult Education 84 Pleasant St., Fort Kent, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Greater Portland CareerCenter 151 Jetport Blvd., Portland, ME 6-Jun-18 5:00-6:00
Houlton ACAP Office 91 Military St., Houlton, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Madawaska ACAP Office 88 Fox St., Madawaska, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Presque Isle CareerCenter 66 Spruce St., Presque Isle, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
University College Bath/Brunswick Rm. 101, Orion Hall, 12 Sewall Street, Brunswick, ME 6-Jun-18 5:30-7:00
Skowhegan CareerCenter 98 North Ave., Skowhegan, ME 7-Jun-18 5:00-6:00
Springvale CareerCenter 9 Bodwell Ct., Springvale, ME 7-Jun-18 5:00-6:00

Why is the MDOL doing this?

Maine is facing a workforce challenge. With unemployment at record lows (under 4% for 29 consecutive months), the Department wants to focus more on what is available within the state. Looking at Maine’s minor population makes sense for many reasons.  First and foremost, Maine has approximately 27,700 14 and 15 year-olds.

Introduction into the workforce at a younger age helps to build confidence, self-reliance and independence, impart the value of money and cultivate soft skills that are transferrable within the young worker’s world. Young workers learn, respect and self control, how to work well with others, good time management and personal responsibility, all important attributes that will serve them well in their personal, educational and professional lives.

“Getting to YES, Youth Employment and the Steps” to professional success seeks to promote these positives in the media and among our stakeholder groups to boost youth employment this summer, and also get youth thinking about their professional future; e.g. pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, college, career, etc.

According to the Maine Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of work permits for minors made some gains this past year (4,200 over 3,200 the year before), likely due, in part, to changes to child labor laws in Maine that made work permits easier to obtain and submit.

Goals of this project:

  1. To increase the number of work permits issued in 2018 (by 50%);
  2. Create a narrative that supports, promotes and encourages 14 and 15-year old workers;
  3. Continue to streamline the process of acquiring and processing work permits; and
  4. Get employers interested, onboard and prepared for hiring youth.


  • Maine Department of Education
  • Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
  • Jobs for Maine Graduates
  • Maine CareerCenters/Maine Joblink
  • Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
  • Maine Tourism Association
  • Maine Restaurants and Innkeepers Association

Recent Press:


Over the coming days and weeks, we will use social media, the DOL website, email, radio and television to get the word out. A formal press conference on May 30th will launch the initiative fully, with all of our partners communicating the message and spreading the word.

If you have questions or ideas about any part of this initiative, please contact Laura Hudson, or 207-621-5009.