Gov. Janet Mills announced more than $14 million in new initiatives Monday, all geared toward building and supporting the health care workforce in Maine.
The initiatives are backed by funding from Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, focusing both on bringing new workers in and supporting those already on the job.
“For a long time now, health care facilities across the state have had to grapple with a shortage of workers and the pandemic has only made the problem worse,” Mills said in a statement. “Through these forthcoming initiatives, we want to make it easier and more affordable for people, especially young people, to pursue careers in health care and continue to move up the career ladder into higher-paying jobs because they provide tremendous opportunity to do life-saving work and make a good wage with good benefits.”
The initiatives, which Mills said will launch at the end of the year, include $4 million to produce tuition-support programs such as scholarships and student loan relief for students pursuing a career in health care.
The announcement also indicated $8.5 million will go toward providing financial support for those already in the health care workforce who are seeking credentials to advance in their respective professions.
Finally, Mills announced a new $1.5 million recruiting drive for the health care sector, and another $600,000 to help guide people already interested in jobs in health care.
“The cornerstone of our health care system is the skilled professionals whose knowledge, training and compassion keep Maine people healthy,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “Gaining more people in this critical profession will improve Maine people’s quality of life and provide a foundation for economic success for decades to come.”