With historically low unemployment rates in the state, many types of business have not only had trouble finding new employees, but keeping them as well. Business reporter Jessica Lowell will moderate a panel of local experts who will share advice, solutions, and forecasts for what Maine’s labor future holds.

The event will take place at the Michael Klahr Center, 46 University Drive on the University of Maine – Augusta campus.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and networking until 8:00 a.m. when program begins. Program ends at 9 a.m.

On the panel

MODERATOR: Jessica Lowell, Business Reporter

Jessica Lowell covers business and economic development and general news in the Gardiner area. A University of Maine graduate, she has worked for newspapers in New Hampshire, upstate New York and Wyoming, where she has won awards for investigative and explanatory journalism. She’s a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.

About the panelists: 

Jessica Crosby, Director of Talent Management, State of Maine Bureau of Human Resources

Jessica Crosby started working with Maine State Government in January 2018. Prior to this, she spent seven years working in the private sector as a recruiter and district manager for Bonney Staffing Center. She graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Psychology and is married to an organic vegetable farmer in Gardiner, who she “recruited” from Chicago.

Ralph Hendrix, Chief Executive Officer, Wipfli | Macpage

Ralph has been with Macpage for over 35 years, and as Chief Executive Officer has oversight of human resources and marketing for the firm. Hendrix authored a chapter in the Management of an Accounting Practice Handbook for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He has spoken at National Practice Management conferences on topics including: CPA firm management, cost containment, internal management information, time management and interviewing skills. Ralph earned his MBA at Nasson College and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Babson College.

Wick Johnson, president, Kennebec Technologies

Kennebec Technologies specializes in complex, high-precision components for aerospace, defense, alternative energy, medical, semiconductor, and telecom applications. Wick Johnson purchased Kennebec Technologies in 1984, and within three years moved the manufacturing facility out of a garage and into a 10,000 sq. ft. space, growing fast enough to double their space needs in 1993. Johnson sold the company to employees in 2016.

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