$15M in Federal Funds Invested in Health Care Tech, Trade Labs, and Student Housing at Maine’s Community Colleges

March 25, 2024

AUGUSTA, ME – Maine’s community colleges received almost $15 million in recent federal funding, with more than half of the funds directed at adding health care training facilities and technology at multiple colleges.

The funding, included in the federal budget package signed by President Joe Biden over the weekend, is particularly timely since Maine’s community colleges recently doubled their nursing program capacity and significantly expanded short-term workforce training programs in health care to meet industry demand.

“We deeply appreciate the work by U.S. Senator Susan Collins and U.S. Senator Angus King in securing these funds to train more health care workers on cutting-edge equipment,” said David Daigler, president of the Maine Community College System (MCCS). “There is such a desperate need right now in Maine for health care workers, and we’re seeing high demand for our health care programs.”

The federal funding will also be used to add virtual reality teaching tools, expand a plumbing lab at one college, provide temporary housing for students enrolled in short-term workforce training programs, and expand high-demand academic programs.

“Maine’s congressional delegation works tirelessly to assure that Maine’s community colleges have the resources we need to educate and train Maine workers. I would especially like to thank Senator Collins who spearheaded the complex budget negotiations to bring this funding to fruition,” Daigler said.

The federal funding will go toward the following projects:

Central Maine Community College:

  • Expand Kirk Hall by 7,200 square feet to train an additional 100 nurses annually, add a surgical technology program, update the science lab, improve the exercise science and physical fitness specialist programs, and enhance short-term workforce training programs in healthcare. ($3.25 million) Collins

Eastern Maine Community College:

  • Instructional Space and Professional Development: Improve instructional areas and curriculum enhancements by adding new simulation, laboratory and classroom equipment; use funds to support faculty training and professional development. ($1.65 million) Collins

Kennebec Valley Community College:

  • Enhanced Radiology Lab: Improve existing lab to enhance simulation tools and improve training for students in Radiologic Technician program. ($513,000) Collins
  • Expanded Plumbing Lab: Expand and update plumbing lab to improve tools and expand capacity to increase the number of students in program. ($803,000) Collins

Northern Maine Community College:

  • Andrews Hall Renovation: Renovate Andrews Hall to expand temporary housing for short-term workforce training students, helping to keep those in the industry trained and credentialed. ($500K) Golden
  • Diesel Equipment and Technology: Expand the diesel hydraulic program to enroll 36 students to meet workforce demands. ($410,000) Collins and King
  • Technology Upgrades: Extend warranties for five human patient simulators, upgrade wireless technology and install fiber between buildings to support advanced technology training across campus. ($550,000) Collins and King

Southern Maine Community College:

  • Health Care Simulation Lab: Build a new simulation lab to provide health care students with realistic hands-on technology. ($4.1 million) Collins
  • Maine Fire Service Institute storage facility: Facility to store and maintain safety equipiment and teaching props for current equipment and future equipment needs. ($500,000) Collins

Washington County Community College:

  • Technology Upgrades, Professional Development, Virtual Reality Technology: Purchase high-tech equipment such as virtual reality technology for labs and classrooms and provide professional development in the tools. ($1.63 million) Collins and King

York County Community College:

  • Equipment purchase, Technology Upgrades, Supplies: Investments in new welding machines, pipe-fitting equipment, and testing equipment for the Sanford Instructional Site; new virtual reality lab and virtual reality training tools for the trades and multiple other programs; updated equipment for Cyber Security program; and supplies and equipment for dental, nursing, and vet tech programs. ($986,000) Collins