BANGOR, MAINE - Eastern Maine Technical College has begun a 12-week, state-funded program geared toward training people in composites fabrication. As part of the project, seven Maine firms - all members of the Maine Composites Alliance - have promised to create 25 jobs during the next year, said MCA Chairman Jonathan Spaulding.
Out of a mutual need for entry-level workers skilled in plastic composites fabrication, the firms applied to Maine's Quality Cen-ters program, which funds training at state technical colleges.
``There was no existing education program in the state to prepare technicians for this industry,'' said QC spokesman Jeff Ward.
EMTC at Bangor was chosen as the training site because the college wants to develop a two-year associate degree in composites technology, said Spaulding, who also is chief operating officer of MCA-member Northend Com-posites, a Rockland toolmaker.
The composites companies applied for the $48,000 grant as a group, because individually they could not generate the 20-30 jobs required, he said. After examining growth expectations, they determined that together they could create the 25 jobs, Ward said.
In addition, the seven firms will pay to send 20 current employees for composites training through the Quality Center.
MCA was the brainchild of Martin Grimnes, chief executive officer of Brunswick Technolo-gies Inc. of Brunswick, which manufactures fiberglass-reinforced fabric and will create five jobs. Grimnes is the 2-year-old trade group's president.
The other firms hoping to benefit from the training program, which begins this month, are Atlantic Boat Co. in Brooklin; Kenway Corp. of Augusta, which makes corrosion-resistant industrial products; yacht builder Hinckley Co. in Southwest Habor; Lincoln Paddle-light Canoes and Kayaks in Freeport; and Northend parent firm and yacht maker Sabre Corp. in Raymond.