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October 24, 2018

Maine Tourism Association to create staffing service for members

The Maine Tourism Association announced today that it will develop a staffing service that will recruit workers from other states, as well as help seasonal businesses form partnerships to share workers, to address the state's tourism industry workforce shortage.

The board of directors of the Hallowell-based association approved the plan providing the service for its members at its meeting on Tuesday, CEO Chris Fogg said.

"We are a membership association, so it is our job to provide needed benefits and services to our members," Fogg said in a news release. "One of their biggest challenges is finding seasonal workers. We believe it is the responsibility of the Maine Tourism Association to address that challenge."

The staffing service will find employees in other states, provide background checks on them and arrange for transportation to Maine and the member business. MTA will also offer the option of basic hospitality skills training for a few days before the employee arrives at the business.

The service will also seek out Maine seasonal businesses, and help create partnerships so that seasonal employees may be shared, thereby ensuring year-round employment for employees and helping staff those businesses during their busiest seasons.

Fogg said that successful tourism seasons and low unemployment in the state is good news, "but it does mean that there is demand for employees that can't be met with Maine workers alone."

The staffing service will operate as a pilot project through 2019, offering its services to a small number of MTA members. The service will be expanded to all MTA members in future years.

The Maine Tourism Association represents more than 1,500 members across the state, promoting the tourist industry. Members include small and large businesses that provide traditional tourism interests such as accommodations, restaurants, camps, campgrounds, retail establishments, and cultural and heritage attractions.

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