To the Editor:

My wife and I are making final preparations for our move to Connecticut, and our shift from surface ships at Bath Iron Works to submarines at Electric Boat.

We’ve also been spending a lot of time reflecting on the wonderful opportunities our family has had since coming to Maine nearly 30 years ago. In doing so, I find myself wishing that every young person in Maine, as they grow up in this great state, will have opportunities to develop into strong, vibrant adults who will be ready for the challenges of the future.

It is because of my hope for their futures that I have made highquality early education one of my priorities through membership in the Maine Early Learning Investment Group.

When my wife, Margie, worked as a pediatric nurse, I learned from her that the first few years of a child’s life are the most significant period to develop the foundations for the type of learner a child will become. It’s a precious period of life, and one that cannot be repeated.

As a business leader, I have read the return-oninvestment reports showing that high-quality early learning is one of the smartest investments any state can make. This most recently was supported in a study conducted by Maine economist Phil Trostel, Ph.D.

We also know from studies done by America’s Edge that earlylearning programs have both significant longterm economic benefits as well as immediate economic impacts. In fact, the economic multiplier for high-quality early learning programs is 78 cents for every dollar invested. This exceeds the multiplier for investments in many other economic sectors, such as transportation, construction and retail.

Children who participate in high-quality early learning are more likely to graduate high school and be employed, and can have considerably higher median earnings as adults. They are more likely to own their own homes and contribute to Maine’s tax base — a winwin, for them as individuals, and for us as a state.

Even in tough economic times, lawmakers should prioritize funding for high-quality early learning programs. I urge readers to learn more about the effort at www.melig.org.

Jeff Geiger
President
Bath Iron Works
Bath