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.
The same can be said of communities across Maine that each develop their own “local economic development plans.” It makes sense to establish a locally-driven vision and strategy for bringing opportunities to a community or a region.
Unfortunately, growth plans that only consider one industry or stop at the city or county border can only achieve limited results.
Maine still doesn’t have a comprehensive statewide plan to attract investment, train our workforce for the future, and grow new foundational jobs. We need a strategy that serves everyone.