From the community

2014 Manufacturing Summit to feature Gov. LePage as a speaker

Posted March 07, 2014, at 10:25 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Manufacturers Association of Maine has announced the 2014 Manufacturing Summit will take place March 13, at Pineland Farms, New Gloucester. Gov. Paul R. LePage will address leaders in Maine’s manufacturing industry as they premiere the latest high-tech manufacturing innovations in Maine and take part in facilitated discussions focused on identifying industry challenges. The summit will include several partners, including industry associations in wood, pulp and paper, composites, agriculture, boat builders, alternative energy, bioscience and textile.

“During the past three years, Maine’s economy has grown 13,000 new private sector jobs, and it’s estimated the State will add another 4,500 this year,” said LePage in a press release. “Today, there are 1,800 manufacturing companies in Maine that provide more than 50,000 jobs. Confidence is growing among executives in their companies’ ability to innovate, evolve and add jobs, which will help Maine grow even stronger as a manufacturing state.”

The theme of the daylong event is “Your Future is Here,” encompassing the association’s new partnership with the national “Dream It. Do It.” program. The campaign works with the manufacturing industry, educators and students to raise the image of manufacturing within Maine. Through collaborative partnerships, the “Dream It. Do It.” program exposes students to educational opportunities and career possibilities in manufacturing.

This year’s event will feature a Business Showcase, highlighting eight Maine businesses that are excelling in their industry sectors.

“Each of these companies will present their latest advancements in a showcase event, much like TED-talks,” said Lisa G. Martin, executive director, Manufacturers Association of Maine, in a press release. “These companies span many industries, from composites to custom wood turning to specialty ropes. These companies are changing the image of Maine manufacturing.

Additionally, each industry sector will meet in facilitated groups to discuss top challenges. The output from those meetings will be part of an overall manufacturing report presented to Gov. LePage and economic leaders.

“In past years, each sector has identified critical challenges faced by Maine companies,” said Martin. “These issues have ranged from health care coverage to workforce training. By identifying these challenges in each summit, the Association can set an agenda for critical issues to tackle during the year.”

One initiative stemming from the 2012 Summit will be showcased at the March 13 event. Dozens of high school students involved in the Robotics Institute of Maine will be at the Summit, showcasing their robots for the Summit attendees.

“We want to create the link between what students are learning in school (STEM) to what their future can be in Maine companies,” said Martin.

For more information on the 2014 Summit go to www.mainemfg.com/events

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