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Apprenticeship program to target worker shortages in Maine trades industry

Associated Builders and Contractors now offers an apprenticeship program to all 183 of its member companies.

GARDINER, Maine — Staffing shortages aren't just hampering restaurants and retail stores, they are also negatively affecting Maine's trades industry. That's why Associated Builders and Contractors Maine Chapter is now offering training programs to its members.

"Unfortunately there seems to be a negative perception out there about a career in the trades," Dan Coffey of the Cianbro Institute said.

ABC is a nationwide group with chapters across the country, including here in Maine. The Maine chapter has 183 members, and now those companies are able to provide apprenticeship programs to their employees.

"It gives them an opportunity to really step in and grow," Mitch DeBlois, ABC board chairman and president and CEO of Deblois Electric, said.

DeBlois says these apprenticeship programs are critical.

Shari Johnston of ABC works on workforce development and programs like the apprenticeship program.

"Anyone can come in and be hired, and learn a trade they're interested in," she said.

"Throughout the industry right now, it's certainly a challenge to find the team members that have the experience needed to build the projects we need to build," Coffey said.

Anyone that works at any of the state-wide 183 ABC member companies is eligible for this apprenticeship program.

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