Brief | March 4, 2020

Who Will Be the New Business Leaders in Maine?

Strengthening career-technical education and high-quality postsecondary learning will build the skilled workforce that Maine needs

In six short years, Maine will need an additional 158,000 employees with the skills and credentials required for our state’s jobs. Our goal is to ensure that by 2025, 60 percent of all Mainers hold postsecondary credentials of value. Our state has been improving over time and progressing closer to this goal. Yet, even so, our current educational attainment rate is only 46 percent, and we clearly have a lot of progress to make to meet the demands of our state’s businesses.

A key challenge when it comes to building Maine’s workforce is the rapidly changing demographics of our state. As the retiree population increases and working-age population decreases, we are left with a shortage of the skilled working adults we need. Maine business leaders confirm that, in addition to this, several of their top concerns when it comes to supporting the workforce are quality of life, quality of workforce, availability of skilled technical workers, and availability of entry-level workers.

Investing in our students today means investing in our economy tomorrow

Building some of these skills as early as high school helps prepare students to succeed in our economy, and gives them the motivation and vision to see themselves in these positions. Career-technical education (CTE) programs provide students with both the hard technical skills and the soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving, that our businesses need in order to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

Investing in our students today means investing in our economy tomorrow, and Maine’s business leaders, stakeholders, and policymakers must ensure that our CTE and postsecondary programs help our students get the training and skills they’ll need to lead Maine’s businesses into the future.


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