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EMDC/ACAP Partnership Selected to Lead $600,000 Workforce Youth Contract in Northeastern Maine

The Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWDB)’s unanimous vote will provide funding for Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) and Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) to continue providing youth (aged 14-24) workforce development services to people and businesses in Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington counties.


EMDC, in partnership with ACAP, was awarded $600,000 to provide workforce development services to young people and businesses in Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington counties. The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) contract, unanimously awarded by the NWDB, reinforces the ongoing mission of both entities, working with local agencies and stakeholders, to help the unemployed find gainful employment.  ACAP will partner with EMDC to serve Aroostook and northern Washington County.


In December 2021, the NWDB awarded EMDC/ACAP a parallel contract dedicated to adults and dislocated workers. Granting this youth workforce program to the same service providers will guarantee a cost and program efficiency that ensures a comprehensive employment service system in Northeastern Maine.


“The renewed contract recognizes our track record of partnerships, program delivery, and performance,” said EMDC President & CEO Lee Umphrey.


EMDC and ACAP are long-standing collaborators with education partners, businesses, and industry leaders, creating sector-based training and career pathways for in-demand occupations. This hands-on support empowers job seekers to overcome barriers, including child care costs, homelessness, disability, and substance abuse disorder, to find meaningful long-term employment.


“Working together, we are looking to build an even more seamless, efficient and effective workforce development delivery system for the people of northern and eastern Maine,” said ACAP Executive Director and CEO Jason Parent.  


Erin Benson, Senior Director of Workforce Services who leads the workforce development team across the five counties, said, “We know what young Mainers need to succeed in the workplace. Employers tell us all the time: Education that leads to certification for in-demand jobs, supportive services to overcome financial barriers, and connection to the community. These are all critical. So all of our strategies are designed around these needs.” 


“This recent success is a testament to the EMDC and ACAP Workforce teams who help people prepare and secure jobs in good times and bad,” said Umphrey. “The renewal of this contract reflects our collective focus on data-driven analysis, system integrity, and collaboration, which has led to programs that emphasize customer service while making us statewide leaders in job training and workforce development.”  

Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) ( is a non-profit that fosters public-private partnerships and leverages resources to help communities, businesses, and individuals reach long-term goals and achieve prosperity.


Aroostook County Action Program, Inc. (ACAP) (, is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 1972. ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of Prevention and Wellness, Early Care and Education, Energy and Housing, and Workforce Development.