Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves and local lawmakers on Wednesday rolled out a $5 million plan designed to strengthen partnerships between community colleges and businesses to address what Democrats described as a “jobs gap.”

The initiative, announced at Pratt & Whitney in North Berwick, is part of what Democrats call their statewide “jobs tour.” Details of the plan are expected to be folded into legislation, which is not yet public. However, the proposal builds off initiatives that were developed during the previous legislative session by a special committee exploring ways to create employment opportunities while ensuring that Maine students have the skills desired by businesses.

Community colleges are a centerpiece of the strategy, which has been embraced by Democrats and Republicans.

Eves said the proposed $5 million investment over five years would create at least 10 public-private partnerships to support job training in “high-demand fields,” including high-skilled manufacturing, information technology and health care. He said the proposal also will fund scholarships.

The jobs tour kicked off at Pratt & Whitney, a beneficiary of the public-private partnerships for which Eves advocated. The state invested $330,000 to create a precision machinist training program at York County Community College to help fill 1,200 jobs at the company.

Lisa Martin of the Manufacturers Association of Maine applauded the statewide investment in a prepared statement.

“We are challenged with numerous training programs all over the state with no direct coordinated effort,” Martin said. “What we need are full classes and training labs filled with current and future workers.”