Workforce & Training

Maine Work Ethic

Maine has always been regarded as an entrepreneurial state. A diverse business base is the foundation of the state's success. Maine workers are constantly praised for their high work ethic and have an international reputation for high quality work done on time and under budget. Portland is consistently named as one of the country's most livable cities, and Maine was recently ranked the safest state in the country. Quality of work...Quality of place...Quality of life.

Maine people are known for their strong work ethic and commitment to delivering quality performance every workday. In Maine, labor disputes are rare. Maine employers consider their workers their best asset.

Maine Employees Are Educated And Skilled.

  • According to national standards, 83 percent of Maine's workforce is skilled. High school or post-secondary degrees are held by 83 percent of the job seekers registered for work.
  • Cumberland County, Maine's largest, with a population greater than 265,000, ranks significantly higher than the national average for Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional and Doctorate degree attainment and college enrollment.
  • Maine students are committed to seeking higher education and typically over 60 percent pursue post-secondary education each year.
  • Maine was the first state in the country to have every school and library -- nearly 1,200 facilities -- linked by an advanced telecommunications technology called Frame Relay.
  • Maine offers a comprehensive workforce development system for employers seeking to expand or locate in Maine or upgrade worker skills to remain globally competitive. When businesses in Maine need a new skill set among its workers, TechMaine, Maine's technical schools, colleges and universities work closely to provide the needed training and education.
  • The largest concentration of activity is in Cumberland County in southern Maine, anchored by Portland, the state’s largest city. More than fifty percent of the technology workforce is employed in Cumberland County where more than forty percent of the companies are located. The technology companies are attracted by Cumberland County’s well educated workforce. York County, Maine’s second largest and fastest growing county is positioned in the seacoast region between Portland and Massachusetts, has attracted many start-ups and is home to a number of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) manufacturers and life science businesses. There are also clusters in Penobscot County, where firms have located around the University of Maine, and Kennebec County, home of Maine's capital - Augusta.

Maine Worker Training

Employers praise the state's customized approach in developing programs and training initiatives that meet business demands for a highly skilled, technical workforce. Some of these programs, which include a variety of training, reimbursement, and apprenticeship programs are summarized here. For details and eligibility requirements, please contact the Office of Business Development. Additional information is available through the Director of Workforce Development, Department of Labor: 207-621-5087.

TechMaine e-Learning Courses
TechMaine has assembled a course catalog of online programs with thousands of e-Learning titles. There are more than a dozen pages of courses, videos, and packages for you to cruise through. You can also search by title or keyword to find items related to your learning needs. All of the items in the offering are deeply discounted for TechMaine members.

Maine Lifelong Learning Accounts
The Lifelong Learning Account (LiLA) Program provides an exciting new pathway for employer and employee to work together to increase access to education, training and skill development. Employees open individual investment accounts and employers match their contributions up to an established cap. Lifelong learning accounts help employees and employers work together to finance skill development and lifelong learning. LILAs are designed to make education and training opportunities more accessible to working adults.

Educational Opportunity Tax Credit
Businesses looking for unique incentives to retain and attract quality employees should explore the potential of incorporating the Opportunity Maine program into their benefit offerings. The Opportunity Maine program can help assist Maine employers in attracting and retaining quality employees while also bridging the financial gap of student loan debt for their workers. The employer program is relatively simple. Employers claim Maine income tax credits for eligible education loan payments they make directly to a lender on behalf of their employee. As long as the employee meets the eligibility criteria, the business can then receive maximum annual tax credits worth nearly $800 for an associate’s degree and over $4,000 for a bachelor’s. This is a huge benefit for employees, who are relieved of the stress and burden of their student loan debt. And it allows businesses to offer this distinct and extremely attractive benefit at a very low cost due to the tax credits they will receive through the program.

Pre-Apprenticeship & Apprenticeship Program.
Maine's Pre-Apprenticeship Program begins with two years of customized high school academics coupled with two summers of on-the-job training. The student receives permanent employment and progresses to the Apprenticeship Program upon high school graduation. Maine's Apprenticeship Program provides customized, systematic training and instruction so workers can obtain professional credentials. Many of Maine's larger firms have taken advantage of this innovative workforce development program, which will underwrite 50 percent of apprenticeship-related tuition for new and existing employees.
For more information contact:
Maine Apprenticeship Program
Maine Department of Labor
55 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0055

Maine Quality Centers Program.
This program provides 100% state-financed education and training for new employees, as well as customized recruitment and guaranteed, fast-track training designed to employer specifications. This program is offered at no cost to the company or trainees, and is delivered by the state's technical colleges. New or expanding firms creating at least eight new full-time jobs with benefits may be eligible.

For more information contact:
Center for Career Development
Maine Quality Centers
6 Fundy Road, Suite 300
Falmouth, ME 04105-1705
Direct line: (207) 699-4902

 Workplace Safety Education and Training Program.
Maine's Department of Labor provides SafetyWorks!, a customized occupational health and safety training, site evaluation and technical support program. Services are available at no cost to employers and are independent of OSHA activities.

  • Maine Video Display Terminal (VDT) Law - Maine workplaces with at least one employee who spends 4 or more hours a day on the computer must comply with this law.

Safety Works!
Bureau of Labor Standards, Maine Department of Labor
54 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333