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November 19, 2013

MDF, chamber set blueprint for increased jobs

Making Maine Work: Growing Maine's Workforce

Read the full report from the Maine Development Foundation and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Development Foundation issued a report today outlining a plan and policy recommendations to add 65,000 people to Maine's work force by 2020. The latest Making Maine Work report says the need to increase the state's labor force comes as the number of people of working age will continue to fall in comparison with Mainers 65 or older.

The report projects the state's work force will drop from 704,116 people during 2009-2011 to 683,871 by 2020, if current population and labor force participation trends continue. To fight that trend, the report suggests steps and specific goals to boost work force participation among in-state groups like adults without a high school degree, people age 65 and older, veterans and people with disabilities. The report also suggests methods to retain and attract more young college graduates and young families to the state and highlights companies, like The Jackson Laboratory and Bigelow Laboratory of Ocean Sciences, that recruit many foreign workers.

To achieve those goals, the report suggests: adopting measurable growth goals, forming a state committee to focus on the issue, creating a private sector Maine Marketing Commission, promoting specific programs like Jobs for Maine Graduates and studying refugee resettlement strategies that have worked in cities like Lewiston, Auburn and Portland.

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