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Maine Development Foundation

Press Release

Maine Economic Growth Council presents Measures of Growth 2016 report

Progress highlighted in environmental quality, lower cost of doing business; significant challenges noted in R&D, education, and road conditions

Date:

April 12th, 2016

Picture of the Economy Circles

Contact: Ryan Neale
(207) 626-3119
#measuresofgrowth
       
Maine Economic Growth Council presents Measures of Growth 2016 report
Progress highlighted in environmental quality, lower cost of doing business; significant challenges noted in R&D, education, and road conditions

AUGUSTA, ME, April 12, 2016—On behalf of the Maine Economic Growth Council, Co-chairs Senator Andre Cushing and Steve Von Vogt presented Measures of Growth 2016 to the Legislature and Governor Paul LePage.  This trusted and reliable report tracks Maine’s performance on fundamental economic indicators and the key leverage points to move us toward the Council’s vision of a high quality of life for all Maine people. The full report is available at www.mdf.org/publications.    

The report highlights three indicators that received Gold Stars for exceptional performance:  Cost of Doing Business, Air Quality, and Water Quality.

  • Maine’s cost of doing business was 9.5% above the U.S. average in 2013, lowest since early 1990s
  • 91% of Maine lakes and 95% of Maine rivers and streams met the highest water quality standards in 2012, compared to 31% of U.S. lakes and 46% of U.S. rivers and streams

Red Flags, highlighting a need for particular attention,were assigned to:  Research and Development Expenditures, Postsecondary Educational Attainment, Fourth Grade Reading Scores, Eighth Grade Math Scores, and Transportation Infrastructure.
  • 35% of Maine eighth graders scored proficient and above in math in 2015, down from 40% in 2013
  • 36% of Maine fourth graders were reading at proficient and above levels in 2015
  • According to the latest comprehensive and reliable data, Maine spent about 1% of its total GDP on R&D

Three indicators (Employment, International Exports, and Housing Affordability) made progress relative to their benchmarks, eight lost ground, and nine saw no significant movement.

“The Measures of Growth report serves to remind us of where we as a state should be focusing our efforts.  Policymakers find this trusted data and analysis to be an invaluable tool, and I’m very pleased to present the report to my fellow legislators,” said Council Co-chair Senator Andre Cushing.

The Maine Economic Growth Council was established by statute in 1993.  Council members are jointly appointed by the Governor, Senate President, and Speaker of the House, and represent a broad and diverse cross-section of Maine’s key constituencies.  

“Clearly we have a number of challenges that need our attention.  But we also have many important assets and advantages.  Identifying our areas of opportunity and maximizing the return on our investments are essential to moving our economy forward,” said Council Co-chair Steve Von Vogt, President and CEO of Maine Marine Composites.  

The Council is administered by the Maine Development Foundation, a private, non-partisan membership organization created in statute in 1978 that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for Maine.
 
Added Yellow Light Breen, President and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation, “MDF shares the Council’s vision of a high quality of life for all Maine people.  The Measures of Growth report underscores the importance of the key issues that are the focus of many of our efforts.  We build this trusted research into our programs and work in supporting leaders and developing cross-sector partnerships among for-profit, non-profit, and government to drive Maine’s economic growth.”

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The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a private, non-partisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for Maine.  MDF’s strategic focus is a productive workforce that is educated, healthy, innovative, and engaged in their community and the economy.  MDF stimulates new ideas, develops leaders, and provides common ground for solving problems and advancing issues by empowering leaders, strengthening communities, and guiding public policy with trusted economic research.  Created in statute in 1978, MDF is a unique and trusted non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.  MDF works statewide across all sectors. 


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