The state has launched a one-stop shop to pair Maine job seekers with training and other resources to get better jobs.

Maine-at-Work was rolled out this month by the Department of Labor to provide employers and job seekers with one convenient, statewide point of contact to help people get hired and trained.

“I know that employers and job seekers don’t have time to research and navigate the many job training and hiring programs available,” said Jeanne Paquette, the state’s labor commissioner, in a release announcing the program. “Instead, with one call, we start that process for our customers and bring the right resources to the table.”

The program was based on the state’s successful Hire-a-Vet program, which for the last two years has partnered with multiple veteran services agencies around the state to provide employment opportunities for veterans. The program has helped 453 veterans find work since it was launched.

“We think Hire-a-Vet is a good model for a statewide outreach program,” said Jule Rabinowitz, the MDOL’s communications director.

The Maine-at-Work program operates as an umbrella organization, collaborating with existing agencies that are often limited by geography. Among the program collaborators are Aroostook Community Action Program, Coastal Counties Workforce Board, Central Western Maine Workforce Development Board, Eastern Maine Development Corp., the MDOL’s Bureau of Employment Services, Northeastern Workforce Development Board, Western Maine Community Action and Workforce Solutions.

The program offers a pipeline for employers who need to recruit certain groups of workers. For instance, one health care employer had several entry-level workers who needed to upgrade their skills. The state helped the company locate nearby training programs and offered other resources – such as child care and transportation services – to help the employees gain additional skills, which led to promotions and wage increases for them, and a better-trained work force for the employer.

“It’s a pipeline process,” said Rabinowitz, noting that Maine-at-Work simplifies access to services and resources available through the DOL CareerCenters. “We’re looking at the employer’s needs and the job seeker’s needs and trying to make that access as easy as possible.”

More information on Maine-at-Work can be found at [email protected], or by calling 623-7966.