Community & State Programs

Community & State of Maine Programs


TANF stands for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. It is a cash benefit for families with minor children in their home. ASPIRE stands for Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment. It is the education, training, and work program that most parents getting TANF must do. TANF-ASPIRE is run by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

For a direct link to the State of Maine, Office of Family Independence, click here.

Parents as Scholars
The Parents as Scholars (PaS) program is a student aid program that helps low-income parents in two or four-year college programs. It was created by the Maine Legislature in 1997 as part our state's welfare reform plan. PaS is run by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) through the ASPIRE Program. Only parents who are eligible for, but not necessarily receiving, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families with Children (TANF, formerly AFDC) are eligible for PaS. 


Maine Equal Justice

The mission of Maine Equal Justice Partners (MEJP) is to find solutions to poverty and improve the lives of people with low income in Maine. We accomplish our mission through:

  • Public policy advocacy in the legislature and with governmental agencies
  • Legal representation and impact litigation on systemic issues
  • Statewide outreach and training on issues affecting people with low income and the supports that can help them prevent or move out of poverty.


MEJP focuses its work on the issues that affect people’s daily lives - access to adequate health care, food and income security, supports for working families, and higher education and training opportunities.

This group is a wonderful resource for students who are TANF/ASPIRE recipients.


Career Centers

The Maine CareerCenter provides a variety of employment and training services at no charge for Maine workers and businesses. Whether you are looking to improve your job qualifications, explore a different profession, find a new career or hire an employee, the CareerCenter can help.


Competitive Skills Scholarship Program

The Competitive Skills Scholarship offered through the Maine Career Center, helps workers learn new skills and succeed in a changing economy. The program is open to all qualified Maine residents and pays for education and training for high-wage jobs in demand in Maine.

The Competitive Skills Scholarship is open for applications from February 1 – 15 of each year. This website has an application that you may download.

Farmworker Jobs Program

If you worked on a farm in the past two years, you may be eligible for job assistance and financial support for job training.


Vocational Rehabilaitation

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, also known as "VR," is a Department of Labor, Stae of Maine program that helps people who have disabilities to get and keep a job. VR helps people who have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.


Kennebec Explorer

The Kennebec Explorer provides low-cost and convenient community bus service for Augusta, Waterville, and nearby communities.

The Kennebec Explorer has been made possible by a partnership that includes, among others, MaineGeneral Health, the University of Maine at Augusta, downtown Augusta employers, Inland Hospital, Waterville business supporters, municipalities, and the Maine Department of Transportation.

The Kennebec Explorer is operated by Kennebec Valley Community Action Program. KVCAP is a Regional Transportation Corporation serving Central Maine since 1976. For further information, contact KVCAP at 622-4761(Augusta) or 877-5677 (Waterville).


External Links