The Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee’s recommendations outline important steps needed to move Maine’s economy forward. The recommendations call for investing $200 million to further cultivate entrepreneurship and innovation, expand and improve internet access and support child care and education, with $5.2 million targeting early childhood education and workforce development. Recommendations also include developing affordable housing in Maine, and funding to build strategies that make Maine a more inclusive, diverse and equitable state.

These investments are critical to Maine’s economic recovery. When it comes to education, two stand out. First is expanding broadband, also known as high-speed internet. This investment is key to making sure children in every corner of Maine can access the education tools they need to be on par with their better-resourced peers.

Second, developing Maine’s early childhood learning workforce is an important step. One of the stark lessons businesses have learned during the pandemic is just how critical high-quality child care is for every sector of Maine’s economy. Without it, parents cannot go to work. With it, children receive the solid foundational building blocks to support all later social, emotional and cognitive learning. There is broad agreement among researchers that high-quality early learning gives children a powerful start on the path that leads to post-secondary education and career success. This investment also will help all kids have the opportunities they need to succeed.

The Maine State Chamber strongly supports strategic investments in these key areas. They will strengthen and grow Maine’s current and future workforces, and our state’s economy.

Ben Gilman
president, Maine State Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation
Augusta

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