President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting on the "Build Back Better World" initiative at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

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As a young Mainer, I recognize that my state is not perfectly set up for people in my age group. Maine is the oldest state by average age in the country, and we also have the highest percentage of rural residents of any state. For as long as I can remember, young people have been leaving Maine more often than staying, pursuing jobs and lifestyles in more connected regions of the country.

The Build Back Better Act represents a chance to turn this trend around. If passed, the bill would not only provide needed investment in climate solutions, but it would also create programs and infrastructure that would meaningfully improve everyday life for Maine residents. New investment in public transit that would connect Maine towns, a clean energy transition that would create quality jobs and attract investment, a Civilian Climate Corps that would create a new workforce dedicated to climate solutions, and electric vehicle incentives that would make electric cars and trucks more affordable for all Mainers. All this and more is within our grasp as long as our Congress members step up to support this historic legislation.

I’m grateful every day to live in the great state of Maine, and it brings me joy to envision a state that encourages young people to set down roots by improving access to clean energy jobs within the civilian climate corps and sustaining a clean energy economy. The Build Back Better Act would be a leap in the right direction.

Dana Wilfahrt