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Maine Development Foundation


Report Aims To Add 65,000 To Maine Workforce

WABI-TV5 - Rob Poindexter


November 19th, 2013

Photo of Ryan Neale during report release
Ryan Neale, Program Director Maine Development Foundation

A new report outlines a plan to add 65-thousand people to the maine workforce by 20-20.

The report released by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Development Foundation titled “Making Maine Work” addresses a major problem facing the state economy. A rapidly declining workforce. Maine is the oldest state in the nation and is losing workers at an alarming rate.

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“In this next decade that we’re a part of, we will be experiencing nearly 200,000 people that will reach the conventional retirement age of 65 in Maine,” said Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors.

Identifying the problem is the first step, coming up with a solution on how to grow Maine’s workforce is step two. The report suggests two basic strategies:

* Attracting people from out of state to come to Maine to live.

* Increasing workforce participation in Maine’s existing population

“We have young people who are not currently in school or in the workforce,” said Cheryl Miller, interim President and CEO at the Maine Development Foundation. “We have adults without post-high school degrees. we have many older workers and we have people with disabilities.”

According to the report, there’s currently 17,000 young adults in Maine who are not in school and not working.

“Reducing the percentage of disengaged youth to 10%, the rate in Massachusetts, North Dakota and Iowa will add 6,000 additional workers to Maine’s workforce,” Miller said.

The report also identifies veterans, people with disabilities and Maine’s older population as groups who could make significant contributions to the state’s workforce.

The first “Making Maine Work” report was released in 2010. Since then there have been two other reports focusing on universities and early childhood development. Another report is due in the spring.

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