I applaud Abdi Nor Iftin’s excellent column urging Gov. Mills and her administration to welcome more refugees to Maine to help to fill the enormous void in our state’s workforce (“Maine should welcome more refugees,” May 12).

Maine’s small and large businesses continually feel the crunch of too few qualified people to fill their open positions. As a volunteer SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) mentor for the past six years with small businesses in Maine, I have seen up close how significant the problem is of filling open positions.

Our state’s ranking with the oldest, mean-age population in the country hurts our ability to attract and retain businesses that can afford to provide living wages and good benefit packages.

Iftin is so right – the Mills’ administration should actively and aggressively position this state to welcome and integrate as many refugees as feasible with the new increased U.S. quotas. Write to your district state senators and House representatives about this important issue.

Kathleen O’Donnell

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