Governor Mills Promotes Free Community College at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor

In visit to Penobscot County, the Governor also visits AIT Bridges, Compotech, Inc, and Somic America, leading Maine manufacturers

Bangor, MAINE —Governor Janet Mills today visited Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor to promote her recently-passed plan to provide two years of free community college to pandemic impacted students.

During her visit, Governor Mills surveyed construction of EMCC’s nursing simulation lab, which is being funded in part by the Mills Administration and will help provide training to future nurses. The Governor then visited two of EMCC’s workforce classes – one on surgical tech and the other on commercial driving – that are supported by investments through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

Overall, the Governor’s Jobs Plan includes some $300 million in workforce investments, including $105 million for programs at Maine schools, community colleges, and universities; $50 million for affordable and workforce housing; $20 million to expand Pre-K and childcare infrastructure, and more.

“With the strong bipartisan support of the Legislature, we are ensuring that high school students whose aspirations for higher education were impacted by the pandemic have the opportunity to get a tuition free education and enter Maine’s workforce with a reliable, good-paying, and in-demand job,” said Governor Mills. “From nursing and surgical tech programs, like those I toured today at EMCC, to construction and commercial driving and more, students will be able to obtain the skills and credentials they need to help solve Maine’s biggest workforce challenges. I want young people to know that the future belongs to them, and that we will help you embrace it.”

“These key investments from the state are meeting a tremendous need for students at Maine’s community colleges. Free college in particular is a game changer, and expanding nursing and short-term workforce training will significantly boost the number of skilled workers in the state for these high-demand jobs,” said David Daigler, president of the Maine Community College System.

Approximately 8,000 young Maine people are expected to be eligible for free community college — and as college graduates, they will have higher earning power, enter a career track faster, be more “recession-proof,” and earn significantly more money over their careers than high school graduates. Many of these students will enter the workforce in their early 20s, now with high value degrees and certificates and with specialized skills and abilities in high-demand areas.

More information about free community college can be found by visiting

Governor Mills today also visited AIT Bridges, an engineering and manufacturing company that supplies advanced composite materials developed by the University of Maine for bridges while providing sustainable, low-cost solutions to the aging and deteriorating transportation infrastructure industry. The MaineDOT has utilized AIT’s innovative technology on the Grist Mill Bridge in Hampden, which has been completed, and the Twin Bridge in Hampden, which is currently under construction.

The Governor also visited Compotech, Inc., a leader in the design, development, manufacturing and commercialization of composite blast and ballistic resistant structures for defense industries, and Somic America, a leading manufacturer of ball joints for suspension and steering systems for the automotive manufacturing market.

The Governor’s visit to Penobscot County come as she travels across the state. The Governor has visited Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Cumberland,Kennebec, York, and Somerset counties.

Governor Mills Tours Construction of Nursing Lab, EMCC

Governor Mills Tours Surgical Tech Class, EMCC

Governor Mills Visits AIT Bridges

Governor Mills Visits Compotech

Governor Mills Visits Somic America