NEWS AND OBSERVATIONS

ABOUT MAINE'S ECONOMY

Powering Up Maine’ s Workforce for Jobs of the Future

April 15, 2019

Jobs in manufacturing, construction, transportation, energy, and tourism are foundational to the Maine economy.  They make and do things, create wealth, and pay the fees and taxes to support the service and public sectors.  Those jobs start with investment and require trained workers suited to the jobs available.

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Can Maine Resist the Temptation to Settle for Bite-Sized Solutions?

April 3, 2019

Maine public policy has not supported the retention or attraction of quality, “foundational jobs.”  The state has lost thousands of jobs in manufacturing, paper making, forestry, construction, and farming and has not attracted many innovative 21st Century employers.

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Maine Losing the Competition for Jobs

March 13, 2019

For years Maine’s public policies have responded to job loss, an aging population, and the departure of our young people with programs to help the unemployed and elderly and increase funding to education.

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Maine Needs a Plan for its Economic Future

March 4, 2019

Maine has been losing good-paying, foundational jobs for years, the population is aging, our kids are leaving, and statewide deaths exceed births.  Lots of people are aware of all these challenges and are trying to change our direction. Many are working on strategic plans for specific industries or individual regions of Maine.  Yet, none of them are comprehensive or long-term and things are not improving.

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Can Economic Prosperity Come Solely from Higher (or Lower) Taxes?

February 8, 2019

Bring up Maine’s economic challenges and you will be met – inevitably – with two suggestions: cut taxes and raise taxes. But neither approach is a comprehensive economic strategy and both have political and social consequences.   First, let’s look at calls to cut taxes.  It is certainly true that having some of the highest […]

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Maine Needs an Economic Strategy That is Broader Than One Industry or Community

October 19, 2018

Understandably, Maine companies organize themselves by industry group—oil dealers, truckers, foresters, manufacturers, restaurants, and so forth.  There are lots of good reasons to work together to address common issues and that approach works on a number of fronts. Currently quite a few sectors—aquaculture, forestry, manufacturing, and tourism to name a few—are working hard to promote their members, expand their opportunities, and increase foundational jobs for working people.

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What comes first, the work or the workforce?

October 15, 2018

As AFM has advocated for a strategic plan to support foundational jobs, many folks have pushed back or pointed out that currently Maine has tons of jobs going begging.  How can we need more jobs when we’re not filling the ones we have?

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Can we reboot Maine’s legacy industries?

October 15, 2018

For years Maine’s economy was based on natural resources—farming, fishing, forestry—and the derivative businesses like paper-making.  In recent years the state has lost over 20,000 quality foundational jobs.  AFM has said it is unlikely those jobs are coming back.  For example, the internet dramatically reduced the demand for paper, the paper mills closed, and operations were moved elsewhere.

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Strategy Starts by Asking the Right Questions

September 28, 2018

AFM believes that Maine’s economy needs a strategy to attract foundational jobs. Lots of folks appear to agree, but have asked the logical follow-up question: “So, what’s the strategy?”

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Investing in Businesses (So They Can Invest in People)

September 12, 2018

For Maine to prosper, we need to recognize that investing in businesses IS investing in people. Business is just the way people organize to get things done—to do things for people. The food we eat is produced, processed, and delivered by businesses.  The cars we drive are made, delivered, sold, and maintained by businesses.  The fuel that heats our homes is obtained, processed, and delivered by businesses.  And all of those businesses are really people—enabled by the tools they need to do their work.

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