Maine Apprenticeship Program awarded $752,000 grant

The Maine Department of Labor announce that the Maine Apprenticeship Program has been awarded a $752,812.68 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand apprenticeships in Maine. The funding will be utilized over a three-year period beginning in July 2019.

The grant funds will be used to increase the program’s capacity and efficiency by placing more apprentices with employers across the state and providing support for apprenticeship participants, as well as to fund technology updates.

Currently, Maine has 776 registered apprentices and 105 registered apprenticeship programs, serving 173 employers. With implementation of the Apprenticeship State Expansion Grant, the Maine Apprenticeship Program plans to enroll an additional 450 apprentices as well as develop new apprenticeship programs in targeted sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing and construction.

Providing technical assistance to employers and assisting in the development of curricula and standards of apprenticeship is a primary focus of the grant. Staff will facilitate and nurture sponsors’ connection to Maine’s CareerCenters to assist with recruitment, screening and enrollment of registered apprentices from a wide variety of job seekers, including underrepresented populations.

For more information on the Maine Apprenticeship Program, please visit:

WWII veteran Ralph Bonville, center, is honored as Falmouth’s 2018 Citizen of the Year during the town’s recent municipal meeting banquet Town of Falmouth


Falmouth names Ralph Bonville 2018 Citizen of the Year

World War II veteran Ralph Bonville recently was named 2018 Citizen of the Year by the town of Falmouth. The award recognizes his exceptional contributions to the community and positive examples of citizenship.

In 1947, Bonville and a group of area veterans started the Falmouth American Legion Post No. 164. He was key in negotiating the purchase of part of the Brown estate for the post building and helping to transfer much of that property to the town. That land went on to become home to the Bucknam Road Fire Station, the Little League fields, tennis courts and playground.

Bonville has been a dedicated Legionnaire for 73 years. Every Veterans Day and Memorial Day, he helps conduct ceremonies at assisted living facilities and nursing homes and he has carried the American flag in Falmouth’s Memorial Day parade for 70 years.

But perhaps Bonville’s most remarkable achievement and service has been to the memory of Falmouth’s fallen veterans. Every year, since 1947, he has placed American flags on veterans’ graves. Starting with 150 graves, Bonville has kept detailed records of the names and burial locations for the now 1,500 veterans buried in Falmouth and made it his personal mission that none should be forgotten.

Often he would get up early in the morning and go out to place flags before work then return after work to place some more. He is the last living member of a team that used to place flags.


Masons deliver bikes to elementary students

Masonic Ocean Lodge 142 of Wells delivered 54 new bicycles, helmets and T-shirts to Wells Elementary School students whose names were randomly selected for their participation in the annual Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Bikes for Books literacy program. Along with the foundation, 23 local business and 17 individual sponsors contributed to the purchase of the bikes for the students. 

This was the school’s fourth year participating in the program, which is coordinated by literary specialist Bonnie Esty. Over a designated period of time in the spring, kindergarten through grade 4 students selected extra books to read – each book offers students a chance to win one of the bikes. 

The program is designed to increase student reading and comprehension skills, to recognize positive student achievements, to provide an attainable goal, with life-enhancing results. It also is intended to encourage children to participate more in healthy outside summer activities, away from computer, phone and tablet screens. 

United Way of Mid-Maine Community Impact Award winners recently honored for their community service are, from left Buffy Higgins, Wanda Steward, Nate Towne and Abby Williams. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Barron


United Way presents Game Changer awards

More than 130 donors, volunteers and community partners attended United Way of Mid-Maine’s annual meeting on June 26 at Thomas College’s Spann Student Center.

During the celebrations, UWMM presented Game Changer awards to the following honorees:

Spirit of Partnership Award was presented to Colby College; Spirit of Mid-Maine Award was presented to Nate Towne from Waterville Creates!; Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Wanda Steward from KVCAP; Women’s Leadership Award was presented to Buffy Higgins from MaineGeneral Health; and Young Leaders Award was presented to Abby Williams from Waterville Jr. High School.

Honorees received plaques and were presented with letters of congratulation sent from Sen. Susan Collins.



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