In this April 21, 2020, file, MacKenzie Farrell, right, a senior nursing student at Boston College, checks the blood sugar of local resident during the free wellness clinic held at St. Mary's Parish in Houlton. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times

A $21 million initiative aimed at strengthening Maine’s health care workforce by connecting employers and individuals with training and education programs has launched, Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday.

Maine has struggled with a shortage of health care workers and the pandemic only made it worse, Mills said.

Through a new Healthcare Training for ME website, people can easily find training programs to make it easier “to pursue careers in health care and to move up the career ladder into higher-paying jobs,” she said.

Partnering on the project are the Maine Department of Education along with state universities and community colleges, the Maine Department of Labor and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

The program is supported by $21 million from the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. That includes $8.5 million allocated to the Department of Labor and $12.5 million allocated to the Maine Community College System for workforce training.