On behalf of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine’s business community appreciated Maine Children’s Alliance board member Michael Cormier’s recent column encouraging all Mainers to complete the U.S. Census. Every one of us needs to be counted to accurately determine the amount of funding Maine receives each year from the federal government for a variety of critical state investments that contribute to a strong economy.
U.S. Census data helps determine where $1.5 trillion in federal resources are distributed every year. One critical investment area the Census determines federal funding for is education. This includes cradle-to-career funding to support high-quality preschool programs, child-care, children’s health insurance, nutrition, high school workforce development and more.The education programs federal funding supports benefit Maine kids, families, communities across Maine and Maine’s economy. The programs help Maine’s youngest learners develop the cognitive and social-emotional skills they need to get a strong start in school. They help keep kids healthy. They help prepare kids for post-secondary education, whether that is college or another credential of value. Altogether, they help kids reach their fullest potential and ultimately power Maine businesses and Maine’s economy by strengthening Maine’s workforce.

These are uncertain times with the COVID-19 global pandemic impacting every one of us. The U.S. Census Bureau has extended or delayed some operations, but they are still moving forward to complete the census this year, as required by the U.S. Constitution.

Thankfully, it is easier than ever to get counted. In light of social distancing and stay-at-home precautions now in place, we can complete the short questionnaire online, by phone or by mail. It takes just a few minutes to do. And it is so important that as many Maine households as possible make the effort.

We all deserve to be counted, we need to be counted, and Maine’s kids, families, communities and our economy are counting on each of us to complete the U.S. Census. Each has a part in making sure Maine receives our fair share of federal funding for important needs right here in our state.
Megan Diver,
Senior Government Affairs Specialist, Maine State Chamber of Commerce,
Bowdoin
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