WILTON – U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe is beyond frustrated that a small-business bill has yet to come before the Senate.

“It’s mystifying, deeply disturbing,” the Maine Republican said Wednesday during a visit to the Career Center in Wilton.

Until the Senate passes a bill that provides incentives for people to start or expand small businesses, she said, unemployment rates won’t drop significantly.

“It basically maintains the status quo. It creates economic stagnation,” she said about the effect of putting off the creation of a small-business bill.

The struggle facing Franklin County residents trying to find work was evident Wednesday at the Career Center, where unemployed people searched for jobs online and attended a workshop to get tips on how to spruce up their resumes.

There are 13 federally funded Career Centers in the state and Snowe has visited several, trying to get a grasp on what federal programs unemployed Mainers have found helpful.

While Maine’s jobless rate of 8.1 percent is lower than the national average of 9.9 percent, more than 10 percent of people are unemployed in Franklin County, said Anita Dunham, co-manager of the Wilton Career Center.


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