June 14, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2018
Media Contact: Laura Hudson, Dept. of Labor, 207-621-5009
AUGUSTA—Maine Department of Labor announces applications are now open for a 2018 Youth and Training Grant Pilot Program for the Tourism Industry. This opportunity reimburses tourism-related employers when they hire new entrants into the workforce, up to $400 for wages earned during the first 200 hours worked. Employers can visit http://www.mainecareercenter.gov/yes/ytpp to learn more about eligibility and criteria. Potential grant applicants can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-621-5009 with questions.
“This initiative is a first step in building Maine’s next generation of workers and Maine’s economy,” said Commissioner John Butera about the department's Youth Employment and the Steps to Success (YES). “We hope this grant program encourages businesses around the state to make new workforce entrants part of their hiring plans this summer season, and relieves some pressure on costs caused by Maine’s rising minimum wage.”
Today, in his weekly radio address Governor LePage highlighted the challenges of a rising minimum wage, a tight workforce, and the regulations that hinder the hiring of 14- and 15-year-old teens in Maine.
“We hear from businesses regularly about the need for a youth and training wage in light of Maine’s minimum wage changes,” continued Commissioner Butera. “Especially with 14- and 15-year-olds who, by law, cannot always perform all the tasks an adult could or work the same hours as an adult.”
The department reminds parents, teens and employers that Superintendents' Offices are open year-round. Work permits can still be approved, even when school is out. An employer must have a stamped, approved work permit on file before allowing any minor under 16 years old to work. Once the minor has the promise of a job, the process that used to take two months can now be completed in as few as two to four days.
Through June 13, 2018, 2,209 work permits have been issued; up more than 22 percent compared to this same time in 2017. Some of the jobs that have been work-permitted include host/hostess, busing tables, dish washer, cashiers, camp counselors, ice cream server, fast food service, landscape worker (no power tools), and lifeguard (pools only).
Parents, teens, employers and school superintendent offices with questions about employment of minors and the Work Permit process can call the Wage and Hour Division at the Bureau of Labor Standards at 207-623-7900.
Introducing new entrants into the workforce at a younger age helps them learn responsibility, develop life skills, and cultivate the soft skills that so many employers crave in current and future applicants. That's why the department launched the Maine YES Initiative: Youth Employment and the Steps to Success. Visit http://www.mainecareercenter.gov/yes for more information, and Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/maineyesinitiative .
Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.