Maine State Chamber, Maine Development Foundation, and Educate Maine Release “Making Maine Work” Roadmap for Economic Growth

July 21, 2022 · Report identifies economic priorities, sets goals and strategies for governor and state lawmakers

AUGUSTA, Maine (Thursday, July 21, 2022) – The Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Development Foundation (MDF), and Educate Maine today released the newest “Making Maine Work: Critical Investments for the Maine Economy” report outlining economic priorities and policy recommendations – including in workforce, innovation, health, energy, and housing -- for Maine’s governor and upcoming Maine State Legislature.

The report sets six key goals that aim to encourage investment in Maine and grow the state’s economy, and a total of 15 targeted recommendations and strategies to achieve each goal.

The six goals in the 2022 Making Maine Work report are:

  1. Implement the Maine Economic Development Strategy 2020-2029, with annual progress reporting and appropriate ongoing updates to the plan.
  2. Expand the Maine workforce and its capabilities at all levels.
  3. Champion investments in innovation.
  4. Improve health outcomes to limit health cost inflation.
  5. Create an energy strategy and investment plan.
  6. Expand the housing stock to meet demand.

The 2022 report is based on an extensive survey of nearly 500 Maine businesses and nonprofits conducted in January through March of 2022. Survey findings, combined with recent state economic research such as MDF’s Measures of Growth, and U.S. Census data, were used in consultation with economic experts and an advisory committee of Maine business and education leaders to identify the report’s goals and recommendations.

Priority issue areas 2022 survey respondents identified include Maine’s workforce size and skill level, with an emphasis on the need for entry-level workers at the top of the list. Health care, energy, and housing costs; expanding broadband access; lowering the cost of doing business, state taxes, and labor costs also are priority issues. New priorities identified this year are affordable housing, and resources to help improve workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many of the 2022 priority areas were identified in previous Making Maine Work reports.

“We encourage state leaders to consider the priorities, goals, and strategies identified in Making Maine Work as a starting point for policy discussions, a ‘call-to-action,’ and an invitation to expand on partnerships with the business community, all with the purpose of promoting economic growth and prosperity across Maine,” said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “We must continue leveraging our state’s assets and the economic gains we are making, such as expanding broadband, while also addressing Maine’s longtime workforce challenges, the costs of doing business in Maine, and importantly, investing in innovation.”

“Strategies and recommendations from previous Making Maine Work reports have been critical to strengthening Maine’s economy, including having an impact in developing the 2019 10-year Maine Economic Development Strategy that has served Maine well, especially as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Maine Development Foundation CEO Yellow Light Breen. “Our intent is for the 2022 Making Maine Work report to play an equally constructive, nonpartisan role in helping Maine’s governor and the 131st Legislature address our state’s most pressing economic issues going forward.”

“We are optimistic about Maine’s future and that Maine is in a strong position to build on the successes of the past several years,” said Jason Judd, Ed.D., executive director of Educate Maine. “Maine has increased the number of people with the education credentials they need to succeed, is attracting more people to live and work here, and is investing in the necessary infrastructure to support their success. We are confident Maine can and will address the economic challenges before us and that the 2022 Making Maine Work report will help guide the way.”

Making Maine Work is a series of reports designed to highlight the insights of Maine’s business leaders on economic development issues in Maine. This is the eighth Making Maine Work report, and the third completed in a Maine gubernatorial election year. 2022 survey respondents represent sectors including manufacturing, retail, health care, professional services, hospitality, nonprofits, and education.

Access the Full Making Maine Work 2022 Report & Summary Here

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