As the owner of an auto repair shop in South Portland, I understand both the importance of having skilled employees and the value of a high-quality education.

Voters this year have the opportunity to invest $15 million in the state’s community colleges to ensure that a high-quality education remains affordable for Maine students, while helping businesses find the skilled workers they need. With the unemployment rate at historic lows in Maine and Cumberland County, it is vitally important for Mainers to approve Question 5 on the ballot.

I am a graduate of what is now Southern Maine Community College, and I regularly hire graduates of SMCC’s automotive technology program. Community colleges are a key component in fueling the economic engine of Maine. We need to strengthen the educational foundation for all if we want to increase jobs and wages.

Mark Duval

South Portland

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