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Updated: November 10, 2023

Maine workforce grants up for grabs via $1M fund

Skowhegan Savings Bank recently announced a $1 million multi-year fund aimed at tackling workforce development needs in communities served by the bank.

The fund was launched by Skowhegan Savings Foundation, the bank's charitable arm.

“We are excited to further our workforce development initiatives with this dedicated fund. Having a skilled and well-prepared workforce is crucial for the success of our local economies,”  said John Witherspoon, the foundation’s chair who previously led the bank as president and CEO. 

“We look forward to partnering with community leaders to allocate funds and to expand training and educational opportunities for Mainers,” he added.

Over the next five years, the fund will be awarding grants in partnership with non-profit organizations, local government leaders, business leaders and education programs to address trade, technical, and modern educational needs. 

David Cyr portrait
File photo
David Cyr

“Many of the businesses in our communities are struggling to meet demand for their products and services due to the lack of a skilled workforce, said David Cyr, the bank’s president and CEO.

“This dedicated fund will bridge the gap by providing funds to expand and enhance technical training programs, early education programming, and ongoing professional development ... We are committed to equipping people in our communities to find a rewarding career that brings them competitive pay and personal satisfaction.”

A spokesman for Skowhegan Savings told Mainebiz that the bank had already received funding applications for several projects around the state.
His advice to companies interested in applying: "Applicants should really focus their requests on programs that directly provide workforce training and professional development to our communities.”

He also underscored the foundation’s continued support for a diverse set of industries and learning stages.

The initiative comes on top of other workforce development initiatives funded by the Skowhegan Savings Foundation. including a $250,000 pledge to the new Skowhegan Early Learning Center, scheduled to open in 2025.

The learning center is being built at the site of the current Margaret Chase Smith School, at 40 Heselton St. in Skowhegan. The early childhood will be a wing in that new consolidated elementary school, according to a Skowhegan Bank spokesman. 

Skowhegan Savings Bank was ranked No. 17 among the largest Maine-based banks in the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on assets as of June 30, 2023. The 2024 Book of Lists is due to be published Dec. 26.

More information

Maine employers with an interest in applying for a Skowhegan Savings workforce development grant can do so here.

Eligible organizations may submit only one application per calendar year, with applications due on a quarterly basis. The next deadline is Thursday, Nov. 30.

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