Maine Gov. John Baldacci says he will use $15 million in federal funds for marine-related educational programs and employee training.
The money comes from the Workforce Innovation Regional Economic Development (WIRED) grant program. Its purpose is to create jobs, strengthen the state's economy and ensure Maine maintains its position in the boatbuilding industry.
Maine was one of 13 regions in 12 states to receive the WIRED grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
"In order to help Maine's boatbuilding tradition maintain its successful position in the industry, we must provide a trained and educated workforce," the governor said in a statement. "The WIRED grant will help expand the educational and training opportunities for those who pursue careers in marine trades and create high-quality jobs."
Baldacci made the announcement during a recent visit to The Landing School in Arundel. The school is considered one of the top boatbuilding educational centers in the country, and supplies the workforce for many of Maine's boatbuilding businesses.
There are 70 students enrolled in the school's four programs: traditional boatbuilding, cruising boat boatbuilding, yacht design and marine systems technician.
The Landing School also offers on-site employee training through its Center for Continuing Education, formed in 2005.