A help wanted sign is posted outside of business in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise its key short-term rate by a substantial three-quarters of a point for the third consecutive time Wednesday, Sept. 21. The goal is to slow consumer spending, reducing demand for homes, cars and other goods and services, eventually cooling the economy and lowering prices. Credit: Matt Rourke / AP

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Like many states, Maine is experiencing a  shortage of workers. This dynamic is complicated by our challenging demographics as the oldest and most rural state. Without more workers, many businesses are cutting back hours of operations and product availability or are closing permanently.

It is clear that, to strengthen Maine’s economy today, we need to provide support to each and every person capable of contributing to our workforce. That takes creative thinking and innovation. A great example of that necessary innovation can be found in the Bangor Daily News’ recent article, “Maine needs people once on workforce fringes to close labor gap.” The article highlights the partnership between Eastern Maine Development Corp. and companies like Synergy Solar that are working with unconventional workers to help fill our workforce gap.

Another innovative example is a new partnership involving The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Educate Maine, and the Maine Department of Labor to expand much-needed pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships in construction, trades, broadband and logistics in rural communities across Hancock, Waldo and Penobscot counties. Over the next two and a half years, Jackson Laboratories will welcome 30 new 16-to-24-year-old apprentices. These young people will gain valuable hands-on workplace experiences, earn wages while learning, and have built powerful connections with one of Maine’s top businesses to help them navigate future employment.

Educate Maine is proud to be part of our statewide effort to grow and train Maine’s local talent through such high-quality and innovative programming.

Kate Howell

Program Director Maine

Career Catalyst

Educate Maine