For decades, Maine’s economy has struggled while the economies of other states have flourished. This isn’t due to any fault on the part of the state’s people. Rather, it’s because Maine has lacked a forward-thinking, strategic plan to place itself at the forefront of one or more economic industries.
Policymaking without planning, as we have seen in the past, oftentimes leads to unexpected and negative side effects. Over the years, Maine has seen major downturns in its economy and population; foundational jobs have decreased, our population has grown older, and young people have increasingly chosen to move to and work in other states for better economic prospects.
But this doesn’t have to be our future. Instead, we can look to the successes of other states and emulate their procedures to become an economic leader in one area or another.
Toledo, Ohio wasn’t thriving economically . . . . until it decided it wanted to be at the forefront of robotics manufacturing in the country.
That was a tall order, to be certain. Yet Toledo’s city and state governments worked in conjunction with its population to put together a strategic plan and followed it to the letter. Over several decades, Toledo became a major force in the robotics manufacturing industry, positioning itself for long-term economic success as robotics became more important in the modern economy.
Now, Toledo is indeed one of the largest centers for robotics manufacturing in the nation. This economic focus allows it to lead the industry in more ways than one, as well as provide profitable, foundational jobs to its citizens
That’s exactly the type of path that Maine should take if it wants to secure a thriving economic future. It all starts with a long-term, well-designed, strategic plan.
With the right strategic plan in place, Maine’s economic future could take a variety of shapes. We can redouble our focus on foundational jobs, bringing good-paying jobs back to the state and attracting skilled workers. Those workers, attracted by the economic prospects available to them, will start families and put down roots, helping to bring money back to the state and bolster its overall economy.
This bright future is possible, but not without your help. Sign up for the Alliance for Maine’s newsletter today to get involved and stay informed.