Governor Mills reveals ten-year economic plan
Governor Mills and her team of 20, including business leaders, lawmakers, and education officials, revealed the ten-year strategy they've developed.
"Rapid technology changes, a growing global economy, and changing climate all present new challenges to our state's economy," said Mills.
Despite these challenges, she says the state's economy is growing, but not enough.
"For ten years, our economy has grown, but it's grown at only a third of the rest of the country," said Mills.
The plan focuses on highlighting Maine's natural resources, talent, and innovation. It works to streamline resources for small businesses and bridge the gap for those who want to work with employers.
They say there are outreach efforts going on to make sure people with disabilities are included for people who currently have barriers such as childcare, transportation, housing issues.
The plan has three major goals over the next decade. Growing the average annual wage by ten percent, increasing the value of products sold per worker by ten percent, and attracting 75-thousand people to the state's workforce.
"That includes people coming from other countries and who want to develop a more streamlined certification process," said Mills.
The press conference was held at Robbins Lumber, a fifth generation family owned and operated business. We asked the former president what he thinks about the governor's plan.
"She mentioned brining 75,000 more people into the workforce and they're badly needed. You know, I don't know a company in Maine who doesn't need more workers," said former owner and president of Robbins Lumber, James Robbins, Sr.
Bringing businesses like Robbins and educators together is another strategy they say is already happening, including more short-term certification programs.
"The strategy can only take hold if we give Mainers the skills and the education that they need," said David Daigler, President of the Maine Community College System.
The promise of opportunity is something Tonia Tibbetts, who's worked at Robbins for ten years, is hopeful of for herself and her family.