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?”
While many groups, individuals and political candidates claim to have the answer, we don’t. That’s because we believe that developing this strategy starts by asking the right questions about Maine’s economic goals, strengths and weaknesses.
It is a bit like knowing we’d be healthier if we exercised more and ate less, but how and when we exercise (hiking, biking, swimming, basketball, walking) and how we diet (less fat, fewer carbs, smaller portions) could vary widely.
The strategy we settle on depends on what industries we’d like to attract and how we want to make Maine more attractive to investors and innovators. What we do know is that it has to be a comprehensive plan that includes public policies on energy, taxes, transportation, infrastructure, education, health care and social services and it has to win the competition with other states for new companies and jobs.
Creating the strategy should start by talking with venture capitalists, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators and asking them what it would take to bring them to Maine and researching how Maine stacks up with other states in the key areas of competition. Then we can think concretely about how we build a solid economic foundation for the state.