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Maine Development Foundation

Press Release

Measures of Growth 2018 Update: Maine Continues to Track Exceptional Environmental Quality but Faces Significant Challenges in Workforce Development and Innovation

Research, Findings and Public Opinion Reinforce Need for Long-term State Economic Strategic Plan

Date:

June 26th, 2018

For Immediate Release

Measures of Growth 2018 Update: Maine Continues to Track Exceptional Environmental Quality but Faces Significant Challenges in Workforce Development and Innovation

Research, Findings and Public Opinion Reinforce Need for Long-term State Economic Strategic Plan

 

AUGUSTA, Maine -- June 26, 2018 — Maine continues to stand out for quality of life indicators such as air and water quality, according to data compiled for the Measures of Growth 2018 Update, which was released this week by the Maine Development Foundation (MDF). The 2018 Update also highlights continued challenges in other key areas of  workforce development, educational advancement, research and development, and technology such as broadband.

“Understanding Maine’s economy requires both brutal honesty and unquenchable optimism, and both can be found in the Measures of Growth 2018 Update,” says Yellow Light Breen, MDF’s President and CEO. “More than two decades of working with the Maine Economic Growth Council to track key economic indicators allows us to understand the trends and what Maine needs to achieve a vibrant, sustainable economy so all Mainers can enjoy a high quality of life. This updated research reinforces the need to move beyond tracking and to develop a long-term economic strategic plan for Maine.”

Such a long-term economic improvement plan was identified as “very/extremely important” by an overwhelming majority – nearly 90% - of Mainers who took part in a recent statewide survey conducted by Market Decisions. Legislation was introduced in the 128th Legislature to fund development of the plan by the Maine Economic Growth Council and MDF, and while unanimously passed, the bill ultimately died on the Appropriations table for lack of funding.

The Measures of Growth 2018 Update was produced by the Maine Development Foundation in lieu of the regular, full annual report.  Since 1993, MDF has adminstered the work of the Maine Economic Growth Council to compile reports which reflect a nonpartisan, research-driven approach. They are intended to serve as a guide to policymakers at all levels, a tool to help them focus their efforts, and a way to understand the connections between and among the major issues affecting the economy and well-being of Maine people.

In total, the Measures of Growth 2018 Update tracks 26 indicators that reflect several major themes: the importance of human capital in improving our productivity and economy; the interplay between foundational issues and economic growth; costs for businesses and individuals; and our unique wealth of natural, built, and civic assets. Thoughtful and coordinated use of our limited resources in the areas that offer a high return on investment – our educational system, health and wellness, innovative capacity, and infrastructure – is essential to moving Maine forward.

MDF, inpartnership with the Maine State Chamber of Commerceand Educate Maine, is also developing a broad set of economic policy priorities for Maine’s next Governor and plans to release them in mid-July.

For more information on the Measures of Growth 2018 Update, click here. To schedule an interview with Yellow Light Breen, contact Kathleen Shannon Nichols, MDF’s Director of Communications and Engagement, kshannon@mdf.org.

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About Maine Development Foundation

Created in statute in 1978, the Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a private, non-partisan membership organization that provides leadership development, trusted research, and creative partnerships to enable Maine business, community and policy leaders to drive Maine’s long-term economic growth. To learn more about MDF, visit www.mdf.org.

About Maine Economic Growth Council

Established in 1993 by statute, the Maine Economic Growth Council is tasked with developing, maintaining and evaluating a long-term economic plan for Maine. Its members represent a broad and diverse cross-section of Maine’s key constituencies.


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