Part of the MaineFocus: The Changing Economy project is to look at the efforts already underway to build a workforce for the state’s future and evaluate whether or not they are effective. If they are not, data collection and analysis, news stories and editorials and conversations with business leaders will help identify ways to improve existing programs and start new ones where needed.
A recent analysis of whether a legislative workforce committee’s work will close the skills gap showed that 59 percent of Maine jobs will require some form of postsecondary training by 2018. This is despite 2010 U.S. Census data showing that only 37.2 percent of Mainers ages 25 to 34 years old actually hold a postsecondary degree.
Because of this gap, Maine needs not just a strategy for the future economy but policymakers who will focus on aligning our workforce.