AUGUSTA — Rep. Scott Cuddy, D-Winterport, has praised a recent announcement from Gov. Janet Mills that her administration will invest $12.3 million in grants to expand apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship opportunities across the state as part of the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan to strengthen Maine’s workforce.

The grants were awarded to 14 different businesses, schools and nonprofits and come primarily from federal coronavirus relief funds.

“This investment is great news for Maine and for the future of our state’s workforce,” Cuddy said. “To put the magnitude of this investment into perspective, it will result in a doubling of Maine’s current 1,175 apprentices and will add more than 150 new employer sponsors to Maine’s present total of 121 registered sponsors.

“By propping up roughly 1,000 new apprenticeships and 2,000 new pre-apprenticeships, the grants build on work I did this session to establish a certified pre-apprenticeship program and secure ongoing funding for these programs which have seen significant demand increases in recent years. Gov. Mills’ announcement and continued investment in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship demonstrates our state’s commitment to a program and a philosophy of education that has served our communities for decades and that will propel us into a future that we can all be proud of.”

Cuddy, a member of the Labor and Housing Committee and the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, is serving his second term in the Maine House. He represents the communities of Frankfort, Searsport, Swanville and Winterport. He is not running for reelection in November.