Maine Invests in Workforce Transportation

  • Author: Sage Kashner
  • Date: March 21, 2023

Governor Janet Mills announced on March 1st that $1.6 million from the Workforce Transportation Pilot Program, a Maine Department of Transportation grant program, is being granted to four local Maine businesses. This grant comes from the $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds that the Maine Department of Transportation is using for “local and regional pilot projects that connect workers to employers through ridesharing, vanpools, and other transit options.”

“A key barrier for many Mainers looking for work is reliable transportation – especially in rural communities where workers may need to travel farther distances to available jobs matching their goals and skill sets,” said Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor. “This is an exciting opportunity for employers to work creatively and collaboratively to attract and retain workers both inside and outside their immediate areas.”

The partnerships with employers have generated a variety of solutions as each one responds to their workforce’s specific needs. In this round of grants Bath Iron Works and TimberHP were the two biggest awardees, each being granted $750,000 for their workforce transportation pilot projects. 

Bath Iron Works will use the award to support carpools and vanpools, public transportation options, and parking amenities. TimberHP is going to use the grant to support “the construction of an electric vehicle transportation hub and the purchase of electric vehicles for an employee rideshare system at the company’s wood-fiber insulation plant,” according to Joshua Henry, the co-founder and President. 

Chuck Krugh, President of BIW, said “More than half our 7,000 shipbuilders travel more than 70 miles each day.” By working to provide and support carpooling, electric vehicles, and public transportation use to a large workforce that travels long distances, the grants also align with the Maine Won’t Wait plan, a four year plan to lessen carbon emissions.

There is approximately $3 million for the Workforce Transportation Pilot to still award. Applications are open, and although there is no deadline, applicants are encouraged to submit projects as soon as possible. Learn more on the Workforce Transportation Pilot site.



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