Having served on a legislative workplace task force concerned with demographics and creating a future for youth in Maine back in 2004, I am very interested in where we have come on this important topic some 14 years later. The focus of that work included strategic legislative elements that we are still building upon today, such as the proposals found in proposed bills L.D. 669 and L.D. 1537.

L.D. 669 seeks to provide funding for outreach to Maine’s businesses to meet their precise needs, and to connect people to the communication skills, business analysis, and problem-solving savvy they need through Maine’s Quality Centers. It would also implement apprenticeship programs to help students become career ready.

L.D. 1537 would provide for a sliding-scale tax credit for 2007 or later for college graduates who have obtained a degree, who are full-time Maine residents, and who work at least part-time in Maine.

These policies together would serve to bridge many workforce issues.

Now, as a business and policy professor at Thomas College that would love to see each of my students find opportunities to stay in Maine, the above steps seem necessary.

In addition, proposed bills such as L.D. 1587, which would study the cost and feasibility of establishing an employee-financed fund for medical or family leave, are steps in the right direction if we are to attract the right people. If we take these steps, they will know that Maine means business and will look out for them throughout the spectrum of their professional and personal lives.

Jeremy Pare

Manchester


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