Nate Wildes, director of Live and Work in Maine, center, talks with, clockwise, Don Littlefield, owner of The Maine Brew Bus, Lindsay Sirois and Katie Shorey, director of engagement for Live and Work in Maine, during a “Boomerang Weekend,” event Wednesday at Luke’s Lobster on Portland’s waterfront. Littlefield’s business is one of many helping with the promotion of the weekend. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Live and Work in Maine stickers were on the bar during Wednesday’s “Boomerang Weekend” event at Luke’s Lobster on Portland’s waterfront. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

“Boomerang Weekend,” held over the Thanksgiving weekend, is intended to connect Mainers returning home for the holiday with businesses that need their skills.

Boomerangs are the legions of Mainers who leave the state after high school for college or jobs. Employers are eager to draw those people back and fill critical gaps in the state’s labor force.

Live and Work in Maine, a group that recruits professionals to relocate to Maine, started Boomerang Weekend last year. The group distributed free, branded T-shirts, cups, literature and other swag to bars, restaurants and other locations in advance of Wednesday, known as one of the biggest party nights of the year.

Nate Wildes, director of Live and Work in Maine, records an Instagram story for the organization’s account during Wednesday’s “Boomerang Weekend,” event at Luke’s Lobster on Portland’s waterfront. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

This year, the group expanded participation in the event to more than 30 venues around the state, sponsored an annual foot race in Portland and a Shipyard Brewery party afterward. It’s also placed a blitz of social media ads aimed at Boomerangs and their parents, families and friends, people who might convince them to come back to advance their careers.

“A lot of people move back to Maine for a lot of really cool reasons,” said Live and Work in Maine Executive Director Nate Wildes in an interview this month. “It shouldn’t be an awkward topic – ‘are you moving back to Maine?’ – it should be a broader conversation as to why it is a good idea.”

Katie Shorey, the new director of engagement for Live and Work in Maine, sports the group’s T-shirt and beer mug Wednesday at Luke’s Lobster. Shorey is a “boomerang” herself, originally from Sweden, Maine. She lived in Washington, D.C., for five years and recently returned to her home state. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.