More Training for Laid-Off Workers 

Governor Baldacci signed a bill Monday that will make it easier for laid-off workers in Maine to get retrained.The bill got unanimous approval from the Labor Committee and passed the House and Senate last week. It extends the state worker retraining program.In the past, the program was available to someone once in their life, and only if their entire company shut down. This bill relaxes those rules, so anyone who loses their job as a result of a reduction in operations will qualify.Speaker of the House, Hannah Pingree, was a major supporter of the legislations. “There are people across the spectrum who are losing their jobs who are unlikely to return to the same kind of employer and we think that retraining and education is really the key to helping us get out of this incredibly worrisome recession.”The program will be funded by the federal stimulus money the state received for unemployment benefits.