Improving Skills of Low-Income Working Mainers

November 27, 2012 by

Mainers need good jobs. Businesses need good workers. It would seem a match made in heaven.

Yet, there is a gap between the education and training of workers and the needed job skills of today.

More jobs require college degrees. Manufacturing jobs are highly technical. Computers and automation dominate the workplace. Too many Mainers lack the occupational skills needed for the jobs most in demand.

Working Mainers do not have … Read the rest

Voter ID is a Bad Investment for Maine

November 20, 2012 by

Recently, Maine has once again received unwelcome national media attention about unfounded charges of fraud in our exemplary voting system. In the 125th Legislature, similar charges led to the introduction of a bill, LD 199, to require prospective Maine voters to present an authorized photo ID before being allowed to exercise their right to vote.   On the one hand, voter IDs could save Maine the cost of prosecuting … Read the rest

Growing Income Inequality is Another Sign that We Need to Raise Taxes on the Rich

November 15, 2012 by

Income inequality is growing and it’s a problem. New analysis of household income data shows a disturbing nationwide trend of growing income inequality over the last three decades. In Maine, as in the nation as a whole, incomes for the richest families grew faster than incomes for low- and middle-income families between the late 1990’s and the mid 2000’s. Households at all income levels saw incomes fall during the economic … Read the rest

The Case for Another Bond Package as Soon as Possible

November 8, 2012 by

On November 6, Maine voters handily approved three bond issues to fund transportation projects, clean water infrastructure and land conservation.

MECEP supported these bonds in the legislature and urged Maine voters to support them for good reason.  We forecast that together the bonds would create more than 3,100 jobs and generate over $377 million in economic activity.  As Jody Harris wrote in the Bangor Daily News on October Read the rest

Question 2 will give Maine’s workers new skills for high-demand jobs

November 2, 2012 by

There is a disconnect between available jobs and the skills of Maine workers. As business leaders and professional economists discussed extensively at the Maine Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission meeting last week, employers struggle to find workers with the skills needed for existing vacancies.

Lisa Martin, director of the Manufacturers Association of Maine, told the commission that when she talks to her business members, their biggest problem doing business in … Read the rest

Question 3: Land conservation supports working families

November 1, 2012 by

Land is still the lifeblood for many Maine working families. Farmers need land to grow crops and feed, for grazing, and for pick-your-own farms. Fishermen, lobsterers, and clammers need land adjacent to coastal waters for access to fishing grounds and piers to land catch, store gear, and moor boats. Loggers, sawmills, paper companies, and wood products businesses need sustainably-managed forest lands for wood and fiber. Guides, outfitters, sporting camp owners, … Read the rest