Four Maine career and technical education schools will be getting $15 million for new construction.

The funding, which comes through the state’s Jobs & Recovery plan, will allow the schools to “build new facilities or add to existing facilities,” according to an announcement from Gov. Janet Mills.

“We all know that Maine desperately needs more electricians, plumbers, welders, and other skilled workers, and investments like this one through my Jobs Plan will help deliver them,” Mills said. “I look forward to watching these CTEs grow and having more students benefit from them.”

The funding will be distributed among the following schools:

  • Oxford Hills Technical School in Norway, (more than $2 million) to build a new facility for plumbing, electrician and building construction programs.
  • Northern Penobscot Tech Region III in Lincoln, (nearly $570,000) for an addition to the existing school for expanding its welding program.
  • Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico, (nearly $5.5 million) for a number of facility improvements, including a four-season outdoor education center, new space for the school’s welding program, and an outdoor space with greenhouse, store, outdoor kitchen and classroom for the school’s culinary arts program.
  • Biddeford Regional Center of Technology in Biddeford, (more than $7 million) to build two-stories onto the existing high school for a culinary arts and hospitality program. The addition will also allow for an athletic training program and expansion of plumbing and emergency medical technical programs.

“In Biddeford, we will finally be able to offer three new programs: culinary arts, travel, tourism and hospitality program, and athletic training/sports medicine,”  said Biddeford Center of Technology Director Paulette Bonneau. “Additionally, we are adding expanded space for our plumbing, heating and EMT program. Through these grants, we’re able to offer more workforce training programs and give students more choice and opportunity.”

The money is part of a $20 million investment in CTEs statewide. Maine’s 27 Career and Technical Education regions and centers enroll more than 9,800 students in 85 programs. 

“This will be a gamechanger for our students," said Oxford Hills Technical School Director Randy Crockett. "The grant funds will be used to construct a 6000 square foot, free-standing building on campus that will have three classrooms and shop space for our plumbing program and the new electrical technology program. Our building construction program will also use the new building for some aspects of their classes, making this new building a hub for the building trades here at Oxford Hills Technical School."