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December 16, 2010 | last updated December 1, 2011 10:24 am

Report: Universities key to economic growth

The state's university system must do more to match educational offerings with the state's work force needs, according to a new joint report from the Maine Development Foundation and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

The report, "Making Maine Work: The role of Maine's university system," is a follow-up to a July report that examined the major costs inhibiting business growth, and targets educational needs necessary to grow Maine's economy. The report lays out recommendations for educating and graduating more people with the skills Maine businesses need. It suggests allocating additional state funding to the University of Maine System for research and development, developing support systems to ensure students graduate and expanding collaborations with private businesses to provide them with resources, including facilities and student and faculty times.

The report also recommends establishing a UMaine System position that would coordinate with the state's Department of Economic and Community Development to ensure the system's goals align with state economic development initiatives.

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