It is good news that Maine is meeting our productivity and wage growth goals. But our declining labor force participation rate of 59.3% is hurting business’ ability to grow and our state’s ability to prosper.

Luckily, many organizations are addressing Maine’s workforce shortage by attracting and training workers into in-demand jobs. Educate Maine is proud to partner with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Development Foundation, University of Maine System, Maine Community College System, and the Finance Authority of Maine to create and execute programs that are moving the needle toward Maine’s education attainment goal that 60% of adults hold a credential of value by the end of 2025. Now at just over 55%, we are making solid progress – but there is more to do.

Central to Educate Maine’s work is professional development for educators who are essential to all core teaching and training programs. Educate Maine creates introductory training and career exposure in specific high-growth fields, like IT and coding, aquaculture and life sciences. We facilitate and bring together young workers and businesses through the creation of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships in traditional trades and new fields like robotics. With federal funding, we recently launched a new mobile bioscience lab that is on the road weekly visiting rural middle schools to demonstrate to students a broad array of future fields of study and careers.

Now is the time to double down on successful workforce training and career exploration programs. Maine’s economic future depends on it.

Kate Howell
Director, Workforce Partnerships, Educate Maine

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