Everyone living in Maine has experienced the decline of the statewide economy. Worryingly, the state has seen the loss of over 20,000 foundational jobs. Foundational jobs are those in sectors such as forestry and fishing, manufacturing, construction, transportation, energy, and more.
The loss of these foundational jobs has led to serious negative side effects. For example, many of our young professionals have left Maine in favor of greater job prospects elsewhere.
The lack of foundational jobs and young people has, in turn, led to spiraling economic effects. Fewer young people working foundational jobs cause existing foundational jobs to take on the additional strain, which causes small businesses to close down, limiting further economic opportunities for those who do stay Ultimately, Maine needs a plan to create foundational jobs and attract and retain young workers.
Foundational jobs are crucial because they create value and bring money into the state that enables them to support the service and public sectors.
For example, a forestry company harvests trees and a mill sells finished lumber to manufacturing or construction companies in another state. When that happens, money flows into Maine, which is then spent by Maine’s citizens. Money is also collected as tax revenue, helping to support social and public services and government operations, such as emergency responders.
Foundational jobs are absolutely crucial for long-term economic success. In contrast, service jobs are oftentimes lower-paying and generally do not generate value or bring money into the economy.
The Importance of a Smart, Strategic Plan
Foundational jobs attract young workers, stimulate the economy, and provide job opportunities for both business owners and front-line workers. But we can’t create and keep foundational jobs without a sound strategic plan.
A comprehensive strategic plan will guide us to enact policies that benefit all Mainers and make it easier to attract and support foundational sectors. Such a plan will also help us make Maine more competitive and able to attract investment and quality jobs.
But we can’t develop or pass a strategic plan without your help. Join the Alliance for Maine today or sign up for our newsletter to stay informed as the issues develop.