Brief | August 20, 2018

Expanding Postsecondary Opportunity Will Build the Skilled Workforce Maine Needs

Strengthening national security and Maine’s workforce with postsecondary learning that prioritizes quality credentials and affordability

A survey of more than 1,000 Maine business leaders found that 66 percent feel the workforce does not have the skills their organization needs, 44 percent believe their current employees meet at least some or all of their skill needs, and 40 percent feel that Maine’s education system is not preparing workers to be productively engaged in the workforce. The availability of “professional workers” was a main concern.

Our nation’s military also faces a skills gap. Today, 68 percent of young Mainers are ineligible to serve partly due to poor academics. By 2020, 66 percent of Maine’s jobs will require some type of postsecondary degree or credential. Maine has considerable work to do to ensure it can field this well-qualified workforce.

For 60 percent of Maine adults to hold a credential of value by 2025, we need an educational continuum that connects workers to good jobs. Then our economy will grow and compete for decades to come.

Dana Connors, President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Across our state, postsecondary institutions provide the education credentials and skills that prepare students for careers in Maine’s top-performing industries. Programs like EDGE at Thomas College provide first-generation students the opportunity to experience college life before the school year begins. The ten-day 3-credit crash course prepares students for the transition to college and the pace of college courses. Students’ testimonies revealed that EDGE helped prepare them for the rigor of college life and they recommend it to other first-generation college students.

This report goes into further details on the importance of expanding postsecondary opportunities for a skilled Maine workforce.

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