UPDATED PRIORITY NOTICE: Higher Education Workforce Grants Available for New and Expanded Programs

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had broad economic impacts, several Maine industries have suffered disproportionate negative economic consequences caused by the pandemic. As part of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Act, the Maine Department of Education is seeking applications to provide funding to higher education institutions in Maine to prepare students for employment in industries harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Funding will be used to develop a new or expanded certificate or degree program that addresses priority workforce needs in one of the following industries: tourism, travel & hospitality; healthcare and social assistance; education and public sector; agriculture, fishing & forestry; infrastructure (construction, trades, broadband, logistics); information; manufacturing; or clean energy.  

Those eligible for the grants include private colleges and universities in Maine and the Maine Maritime Academy. In their applications, higher education institutions should consider how their programs will:  

  • Address critical needs in Maine’s economy and workforce by advancing strategies identified in Maine’s 10-year economic development strategic plan; 
  • Prioritize supports for disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, and individuals such as new Mainers, people of color, low-income students, Indigenous communities, and students seeking work in rural communities; 
  • Demonstrate the likelihood of supporting the advancement of students and workers to achieve higher paying jobs in Maine; and  
  • Use funding for one-time investments that will produce lasting benefits or propose a feasible funding strategy for sustaining activities after grant funds have been exhausted. 

The number and size of awards will depend on the number of proposals received & available funds. The range of awards is up to $2 million and eligible institutions may submit applications for up to two distinct projects. 

Applications should be submitted by June 16, 2022 to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via email, at Proposals@maine.gov 

For additional information, contact Ángel Martínez Loredo, Director of Higher Education & Educator Support Services, at angel.loredo@maine.gov.​