A new program from the Maine Department of Labor intends to connect thousands of job seekers with employment, training and other resources to join the workforce.

A two-year pilot “peer workforce navigator” program is funded with $1 million in federal relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, the labor department announced Tuesday.

The program intends to connect 3,000 Maine job seekers to education, training and resources such as transportation and childcare to help them get into the workforce. It plans to connect at least 1,500 people with job opportunities.

Peer navigators will target underserved populations in immigrant and refugee communities, rural towns and those connected to labor unions around the state.

Five nonprofits, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Equal Justice, Food and Medicine, Prosperity Maine and Gateway Community Services, were hired to run the program through a competitive bidding process.

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