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PHOTOS: Pingree Joins First Lady, Education Secretary on Tour Highlighting Maine’s Free Community College Initiative & Workforce Investments

  • FLOTUS CP Cardona SMCC

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today joined First Lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on a tour of Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America Tour to highlight how President Biden’s economic policies are benefiting hardworking Americans across the country. 

“Free community college is a game changer for Maine, and today, the I was thrilled to be at Southern Maine Community College with the First Lady and Secretary Cardona to see how Maine students are fulfilling their aspirations through higher education,” said Pingree. “Thanks to Governor Mills’ groundbreaking free community college initiative, Maine is setting an example for the rest of the country by investing in education—without burying students in debt.” 

In 2022, the Maine Legislature passed Governor Mills’ free community college initiative to help students whose aspirations for higher education were disrupted by the pandemic pursue affordable higher education and prepare for good-paying careers. According to the Governor’s office, enrollment at Maine’s community college system increased by a record 12 percent in the first year of the initiative. 

House Democrats and the Biden Administration are making historic investments to create jobs and career opportunities for Maine people in in-demand fields such as precision manufacturing, clean energy, and health care. Through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Maine has delivered $35 million from the American Rescue Plan to create 8,500 new workforce training opportunities at Maine’s seven community colleges.

Last April, Pingree welcomed Secretary Cardona to Maine to highlight how the American Rescue Plan is helping Maine address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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