Invest in people and build Maine’s economy

December 16, 2019

The state’s new economic development plan rightly focuses on building the workforce.

Back in 2004, Pine Tree Zones were the jewels in the economic development plan rolled out by then-Gov. John Baldacci. The idea was to encourage investment in areas of the state that had lost manufacturing jobs by offering tax breaks and other inducements to investors willing to go there…The economic development plan rolled out last week by Gov. Mills takes a very different approach, one that is directly responsive to our needs. For the first time in recent history, the state’s focus would be on attracting people, not investment, adding skills and talent to a workforce that is shrinking every year.

There are 185,000 Mainers who have some college, but no degree, who could put themselves in a position for higher earnings if they could get access to the right program. The state’s community college system is serving that need for thousands of Mainers, but its most sought-after programs too often have to turn potential students away. Helping more workers acquire the skills and credentials would allow them to command more in the job market. More»