I agree wholeheartedly with the recent guest column by Educate Maine Executive Director Jason Judd that growing Maine’s talent pool will take commitment to making sure all Maine people have the educational preparation to succeed in Maine’s current and future workplaces (“Coming together to address Maine’s workforce challenges,” Aug. 28).

As the CEO of an organization that hires and employs hundreds of workers at all levels across three counties in western Maine, I am acutely aware of our state’s current and future skills gap and the challenges it presents. Community Concepts has a workforce development initiative partnering with area employers in identifying and preparing the available workforce for jobs in construction trades, health care and education fields.

Under the umbrella of MaineSpark, I am pleased to see so many of Maine’s leading educational organizations and private sector employers coming together to work towards achieving a common goal: that 60 percent of our adults have a credential of value by 2025. That will mean brighter futures for employees as they each find their own niche in and contribution to Maine’s 21st century economy.

Everywhere I travel across Maine, I hear that developing Maine’s workforce, in all sectors is top of mind. As the state with the oldest population in the country, we need every young person to reach his or her fullest potential, and stay here working in our communities. There is great opportunity in all 16 counties. Now the challenge is linking those opportunities with interest and training. I am pleased MaineSpark is here to lead this critical work.

C. Shawn Yardley

CEO, Community Concepts
and Community Concepts Finance Corp.

Lewiston

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