Sappi North America is growing and investing in Maine.

That’s good news for the 1,200 well-paid workers we support and the thousands more Mainers who benefit from doing business with our company or its employees from loggers and truckers to contractors and convenience store clerks.

We recently completed a $200 million upgrade at our Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, and hired nearly 100 new employees in Maine last year alone — a trend we expect to continue.

Like most Maine employers, we are dependent on the University of Maine System to produce the skilled workforce we need to grow our company and the state’s economy.

In order for our public universities to provide the private sector this pipeline of professionals, they must offer affordable, relevant education and training and have modern facilities that attract students and prepare them for 21st-century career success.

That’s why I am voting yes on Question 4. This $49 million bond makes critical investments at all seven University of Maine System campuses to prepare more graduates with the skills employers like Sappi need to fill thousands of open jobs. This bond is well within the state’s borrowing capacity and supported by Gov. Paul LePage.

As a long-time trustee, I can attest to the university’s sound fiscal management. We have right-sized through painful but necessary position and program cuts and have held tuition flat for in-state students for six of the last eight years.

It is now time to invest, both in Maine’s public universities and our future workforce.

On Nov. 6, I urge you to support Question 4 and the opportunities it provides Maine students and employers to prosper.

Mark Gardner

president and CEO

Sappi

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