Local non-profit Eastern Maine Development Corporation has launched a program that gains work experience for the young people in Maine.

The organization provides workforce services to businesses, communities and individuals in area counties.

Their newest program is available to residents ages 16 - 24 of Penobscot, Piscataquis, Washington and Hancock counties.

Students apply to be a part of the program and must meet qualifications to participate. Once accepted, participants will be matched with a partnered businesses in the area.

Each participant will receive 180- 250 hours of training while earning a paycheck.

The program will give young adults hands-on experience that builds their skills while becoming familiar with new businesses and industries.

According to Maine's Department of Labor, 2018 shows that 57% of young adults 16 to 24 participated in the workforce, an increase from 2015 which shows 53% participation.  Meanwhile, older age groups, specifically ages 25 - 54, show an 80% participation in 2018.

For more information about the program or to be a participating business, check out the press release on the Eastern Maine Development Corporation website.