You recently noted that construction levels today are low compared to levels in 2004. Unless banks return to the risky lending practices that led to the economic collapse of 2008, we will never see construction return to the levels seen before the recession.

This is the new reality and that was unrealistic and unsustainable. So stop using 2004 as the benchmark that must be reached before we consider the economy recovered.

Many of the businesses you profiled are as busy as they want to be, which points to a certain stabilization of the industry. And as we have seen time and again, one of the big things holding back these businesses is a shortage of workers. So maybe it is time to stop beating the unemployment drum and preaching how we need “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

What Maine needs is workers. So let’s welcome all of those hardworking immigrants and get Maine’s economy back on track.

Kurt Woltersdorf