Workforce Solutions

CEI has been involved in workforce development since 1977. Our fundamental goal is to establish positive employment outcomes by linking CEI’s lending and investments to the employment needs of economically disadvantaged job seekers.

CEI’s approach to workforce development is recognized nationally for its creative models and impact for creating economic opportunity for people with low incomes and those at risk of poverty. The Workforce Solutions team is actively engaged in federal and state policy and advocacy coalitions that strive to inform and shape public policies that benefit job seekers, workers and businesses.

CEI’s model to increase economic self-sufficiency involves four strategies:

  • Employment Training Agreements (ETAGs):This “social compact” is between job-generating financed businesses and CEI to target newly created jobs for low-income individuals.
  • Intermediary Role:Builds and sustains partnerships that help both businesses and employees identify, navigate and access sector programs, services and funding sources.
  • Broker:Conducts assessments and develops service strategies for businesses; facilitates relationships and brokers services with public, educational, and community organizations that help support business growth, training, and career advancement of their workforce.
  • Innovative Projects:Develops and administers workforce projects that yield best practices. Workforce Solutions is also involved with Industry Sector Initiatives and industry-focused approaches to workforce and economic development.


Current Projects

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Community Services (OCS)

CEI Workforce Solutions is a sustained grantee of Community Economic Development (CED) funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Community Services (OCS) to capitalize revolving loan funds that leverages commercial lending resources, while providing financing, business, technical, and workforce intermediary assistance. Through collaborative efforts with CEI’s internal and external partners, CEI-financed businesses create new quality jobs for regionally-focused economic outcomes.

  • Downeast Seafood Heritage Preservation Fund-Investing in Our Future
  • Made in the USA: Maine’s High Performance Textile Cluster Project
  • Maine Healthy Food Development Fund
  • Maine Rural Business Development Fund

Portland Jobs Alliance (PJA)/ PJA Employment Development Initiative

Funded by: Gorman Foundation, Cohen Foundation, Portland Community Development Block Grant

WIN Project (WorkReady Initiative Network) in Washington County


For more information on the assistance offered by CEI’s Workforce Solutions program, contact Christa Baade at 207-504-5855, Liz Love at 207-535-2922, or Paul Scalzone at 207-504-5883.