Presque Isle – Northern Maine Community College is pleased to announce that congressional funds directed by U.S. Senator Angus King will allow the College to double the capacity of its Electrical Construction & Maintenance program from 18 to 36 students and add one additional faculty position beginning in the fall 2022-2023 school year.
The College applied for the Senator’s support earlier this year in response to the region’s high demand for licensed electricians accompanied by the electrical program’s full capacity each year. According to the Maine Career Center, as of May 2021, data indicated an annual need for an additional 287 licensed electricians in the state. The licensed electrician workforce supports industries throughout the state including residential and commercial construction, manufacturing and industrial, maintenance of energy sectors, and emerging industries such as robotics and automation.
NMCC’s two-year associate’s degree in electrical construction & maintenance provides students with 4,000 hours towards their journeyman license and training in residential, commercial wiring systems, industrial, and control system installation. Locally, graduates are in high demand among contractors and larger operations such as McCain Foods, Pineland Farms, Irving Woodlands, or healthcare facilities. The College also offers a 9-month certificate program.
The College’s grant application called additional attention to workforce needs in the field of energy. As the state and country move away from fossil fuels toward more green and renewable energy products, such as wind and solar, the demand for licensed electricians increases proportionally. While wind and solar technicians receive electrical training and develop unique industry-specific skills, they are not licensed electricians and still require support from journeymen or master electricians.
The program expansion also reflects the national above-average growth in the job outlook for licensed electrical technicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupation Outlook Handbook forecasted an increase of 62,000 positions in the field between 2019 and 2029.
Program expansion will begin immediately, with the expanded capacity for the fall 2023 class reaching 36 incoming students. The College is also proceeding immediately with its search for the additional faculty member to support the expanded incoming class.
The congressional funds match the full budget requested by the College, totaling $567,000. The budget includes funds for the new faculty member, additional training equipment, instructional equipment, lab furniture, and minor renovations to the lab space.
“We’re feeling tremendous gratitude for Senator King’s show of confidence by entrusting NMCC with these funds,” said NMCC President Timothy Crowley. “NMCC’s electrical construction program highlights how effectively the College can collaborate with industry partners and Congress to adapt to changing workforce needs. Mainers are eager to prepare for this type of high-demand, hands-on career, and Senator King’s support allows us to rise to the occasion and match that need.”
To learn more about NMCC electrical construction & maintenance program visit nmcc.edu or contact Admissions at (207) 768-2785.
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