Senate District 13 — all of Lincoln County with exception of Dresden, plus Windsor and Washington — now has the opportunity to elect an individual to the Maine Senate who has the policy experience to address the longstanding gap between education and workforce needs in Maine. My life’s work is in education, at all levels. Throughout, I have had a strong interest in the essential, but too often ignored, relationship between what happens in classrooms and workforce skills — those needed now and in the future. The statistics on young women and men leaving Maine to settle in other states, either for better employment options or to acquire skills not acquired as students in Maine schools, are well documented. This situation needs to change. It can change.

As Maine’s labor commissioner for eight years and a deputy administrator in the U.S. Department of Labor for three and a half years, and as someone who is knowledgeable about the needs of Lincoln County, Laura Fortman is more than ready to be in Augusta addressing education and the workforce. She knows firsthand how important it is to work on policy that will invigorate the synergies between education and the workforce. Significant attention is needed on the role of technical education, STEM education, along with new or rising areas of employment in the health and bio sciences, the trades, sustainability and environmental sciences, and, yes, even teaching. Her candidacy has been endorsed by Maine educators, MNEA, and workers, AFL-CIO and MSEA.

I will be voting for Fortman. I hope you will as well. Currently, District 13 is not a part of the education and workforce conversation. It can be. It needs to be.

Jean Moon


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