Working to address Maine’s electrician shortage

Letter:

Avatar photoby Opinion Contributor Rep. Amanda Collamore (R-Pittsfield)

Chris Ouellette runs wires in a new home in Orono in July 2022. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN

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Maine has a shortage of licensed electricians. To help with this, I am sponsoring LR 2949, “An Act to Utilize Career and Technical Education Centers in the Development of the Electrician Workforce.” In the last session, my committee worked on a bill to clarify the educational and training hours a future electrician can use toward licensure. The Career and Technical Educational Centers (CTEs) were inadvertently left out. To fix this, I submitted a bill in the Second Regular Session to include the CTEs. This bill would firm up the changes in statute to help address one of the layers of the licensed electrician shortage in our state.

Currently, coursework from the CTEs are accepted in place of coursework at the community college system, essentially cutting the student’s schooling time in half. The classroom hours at the community college system, with the newly passed law, have been solidified into statute as counting toward the hours needed to take a journeyman’s license test. My bill would ensure the continuity of the training received at the CTEs, going to the community college system or to be used at an apprenticeship program, by acknowledging the work of the CTE education in statute the way the community college system does.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on my committee and in the Legislature to get this bill passed and address that licensed electrician shortage in Maine.

Rep. Amanda Collamore

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