Skowhegan Savings Foundation Announces $1 Million Dollar Workforce Development Fund

September 26th, 2023

SKOWHEGAN, MAINE  The Skowhegan Savings Foundation is pleased to announce a $1 million multi-year fund dedicated to addressing workforce development needs in the Maine communities that Skowhegan Savings Bank serves.

Foundation chair and former Skowhegan Savings Bank CEO & president, John Witherspoon shared, “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 our local economies. We look forward to partnering with community leaders to allocate funds and to expand training and educational opportunities for Mainers.”

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

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

To request a Skowhegan Savings workforce development grant application, please complete an online application. Applicants are encouraged to highlight how their request will support the Skowhegan Savings Foundation’s focus of developing a skilled workforce and community of entrepreneurs to support economic development in the communities we serve. Applications must be submitted with all supporting documentation to Eligible organizations may submit only one application per calendar year with applications due on a quarterly basis.

The Skowhegan Savings Foundation has funded numerous workforce development initiatives statewide. Several recent examples include:

  • $250,000 pledge to the new Skowhegan Early Learning Center, which is scheduled to open in 2025. Through partnership with Kennebec Valley Community Action Program and MSAD54, the center will provide childcare and pre-kindergarten education for 160 students ages infant to 11 years old. Not only will this project help lay the foundation for tomorrow’s workforce, but it will also provide childcare for parents looking to re-enter today’s workforce.
  • $50,000 to establish a welding training center at Madison Area Memorial High School with programming provided by the Somerset Career & Technical Center.
  • $50,000 to Dirigo Labs Business Accelerator, a regional startup accelerator based in Waterville. Startups are guided through a targeted curriculum to execute their project plans, working with a curated board of local and national advisors from a range of industries.
  • $45,000 to the Mechanized Logging Operations Program that will help address the shortage of equipment operators by providing training for the next generation of skilled workers in Maine’s forestry industry.