Question 4 on the statewide ballot this November provides critically needed investment in Maine’s public universities, and I am voting yes.

I serve on the University of Maine at Augusta’s board of visitors, but I have many more reasons than that to support this important bond. A recent retiree, I am worried about nursing care as we age, keeping my children and grandchildren in Maine, and ensuring Mainers have the skills employers are looking for so our economy can continue to grow. This cannot happen without investment in our universities to develop the Maine workforce.

Investments through this bond will train more nurses to care for our families by growing student enrollment and expanding programs, including into high-need regions of Maine. It will increase the number of engineering, teaching and cybersecurity graduates. And it will connect more students to internships and careers that keep them in Maine.

I look carefully at every bond request, I try to balance need and cost. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity. Maine’s economic success is dependent on the quality of our workforce and providing well-trained workers with four-year degrees is critical to meeting existing needs and foster real growth.

The bond benefits all of the University of Maine System universities, but is especially critical to UMA, which provides campus-based and online options for traditional and adult students all over Maine, including many veterans coming to school after their service. UMA in Augusta and Bangor and its eight centers provide the support students need to transform their lives.

Please vote yes on Question 4 on Nov. 6 to approve this valuable investment in Maine students and our future.

Dick Thompson


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