First lady Jill Biden arrived in Maine for the first of two stops in New England on Wednesday as she and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona took part in the White House's Investing in America Tour.
Biden and Cardona have stops scheduled in both states, where they planned to highlight career-connected learning and workforce training programs — priorities for the Biden administration.
Joined by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, the pair first visited the Johnson Automotive Technology Center at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, where students and staff showed off their work on electric cars. Then, at the school's Jewett Hall, the delegation got a demonstration on machining.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills was due to accompany Biden during her visit to SMCC but tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.
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“While I am unable to join our visiting dignitaries in person, I am excited to welcome the First Lady and Secretary Cardona to Maine," Mills said in a statement. "My Administration’s free Community College initiative and other crucial investments from the Biden-Harris Administration are providing important new opportunities for Maine people to get a high-quality education at little or no cost that allows them to take good-paying jobs in rewarding careers – a win for our students, for our employers, and for our economy."
Biden and Cardona departed for Vermont on Wednesday afternoon, where they were scheduled to tour BETA Technologies in Burlington along with Gov. Phil Scott.
Here is the agenda for Biden and Cardona's time in New England on Wednesday, according to a Tuesday new release from the U.S. Department of Education.
- 11 a.m — Biden and Cardona land at Portland International Jetport
- 11:30 a.m. — Event held at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, highlighting college's workforce training programs, along with the state's investment toward free community college.
- 1:30 p.m. — Biden and Cardona arrive at Burlington International Airport
- 2 p.m. — The First Lady and Secretary Cardona will visit BETA Technologies in Burlington, along with Gov. Phil Scott. BETA is an electric aerospace company, and the visit is meant to highlight investments into education programs related to electric vehicles.