Bank Foundation To Boost Solar Energy Jobs In Maine

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A bank foundation has donated $400,000 to help create more solar power in Maine.

KeyBank Foundation said it's supporting a “Green Jobs for ME” initiative designed to expand the Maine Community College System's electrical journey technician program. The foundation said the initiative would help the state counter a shortage of licensed electrical workers who are needed to connect solar panels to the electrical grid.

Maine hopes to source 80% of its energy from renewable sources and that means “innovations in workforce development are critical,” said KeyBank Maine market president Chip Kelley.

The "Green Jobs for ME” initiative is expected to train 100 electrical workers over the next four years, the foundation said. Michael Fischer, the president of York County Community College, said the college will be “part of the expanding solar energy presence in Maine by training the electrical workers needed for this endeavor.”