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Gov. Mills pushes for increased funding to career and technical education programs

The Governor visited Foster CTE Center in Farmington Friday. She's proposing $20 million for tech programs as part of Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan

FARMINGTON, Maine — Governor Janet Mills is looking to support Maine career and technical education programs as part of the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. She is proposing for $20 million to be invested into the state's CTE programs, something she said is long overdue. 

"We know jobs in the trades bring with them good skills and good pay, along with stable lifelong careers," Governor Mills said. 

On Friday, Mills toured the Foster CTE Center in her hometown of Farmington. There she met with students and staff in various programs at the tech center, discussing various programs and projects, as well as the need for additional funding.  

"These programs allow students to learn about areas they may be interested prior to leaving public education," said Mills.

Governor Mills' proposal of a $20 million investment in Maine CTE programs is part of the more $1 billion Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. 

As part of the American Jobs plan, more than $4.5 million has been allocated to the state. Of that, $3.2 billion will go to recovery efforts like bolstering public health, including COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, enhanced unemployment benefits, stimulus payments to families, and business supports. The remaining funds are what Governor Mills hopes to use in her proposed Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. 

"It provides the students with the latest in technology and preparing them for the latest generation. It's a chance for our programs to be innovative and really make that leap," said Maine CTE director Dwight Littlefield. 

Littlefield toured the Foster CTE Center along with Mills Friday. 

Littlefield said this investment in the state's CTE programs would help improve offerings for students, and better prepare them for college and the workforce after graduation. 

"This really provides a great opportunity to upgrade a lot of our equipment across the state," Littlefield said. 

Mills added that Maine has not made a significant investment into its CTE programs since 1998. Mills hopes this investment not only helps prepare Maine students but also helps strengthen Maine's workforce and creates good-paying jobs in the state.