After losing in court, LePage agrees to release millions in job training funds
Gov. Paul LePage’s administration has dropped a legal fight over its refusal to release more than $8 million in federal job training funds, allowing the funds to flow to three regional workforce boards in Maine that oversee local job training services.
The move allows the three workforce boards to start rebuilding programs they had to wind down as Maine’s Republican governor withheld federal funds the state receives each year through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Under WIOA, the funds are supposed to flow to the regional, business-led boards, which set job training priorities for their regions and contract with organizations that provide counseling and job search help to laid-off workers, low-income adults and struggling young adults. They also connect them with professional training programs, with WIOA funds paying the tuition.
“With the [program year 2017] funding that is now available to us, we are going to be rebuilding our service delivery system, which includes hiring the staff that we had to lay off,” said Antoinette Mancusi, deputy director of Coastal Counties Workforce Inc., which services York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo and Knox counties.
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