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Maine Focus

7 little-known ways to help Maine people with disabilities to work

The harsh reality for people with disabilities — work and struggle to afford medicine, or stay home and struggle to live — is well known, but there are programs and incentives out there to ease the transition to work. It’s just that few people seem to know about them.
Rebecca Grant walks to the office where she currently works at St. Joseph Healthcare on March 20, 2017. She said it was a struggle to get by after she was laid off from FairPoint Communications in July 2015.

Politicans say they want people to work, but they ignore this fast route to a job

There’s a way to get more people out of poverty, but it’s a “bewildering maze.”
I arrived home in probably less than optimal shape for parenting, but Beverly, a public health nurse, answered all my questions. She assured me that I was a good mother. This confidence enabled me to become a better parent.
Maine Focus

How a public health nurse made a difference in the lives of my 3 kids

I find the dismantling of the state’s public health nurse system to be morally reprehensible.
Dr. Dora Anne Mills is vice president for clinical affairs at the University of New England and is Maine’s former state health director.
Maine Focus

What Mother Teresa helped me realize about rural Maine

“If where you are going, you will work with love, and love your work, that is where you are called to go.”
Jon Hunt, known better as Twitch to his friends, walks through the Bangor Public Library on a sunny afternoon at the end of March. Twitch has never held an official job. He’s worked as a roofer, a blueberry raker and a construction worker, he said, but always under the table. Forty years ago, it was almost unheard of for a man of Twitch’s age to be out of the workforce, meaning neither working nor looking for work. But today, some 15 percent of Maine men ages 25 to 54 find themselves in that situation, according to the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information.
Maine Focus

Thousands of Maine men are missing from the workforce, and no one really knows why

Men like Twitch find themselves “set adrift in a world they are not equipped to deal with.”
Amanda Rector, the state economist, talks to Magnetize Maine attendees in Bangor on March 31.

We asked how to attract younger people to Maine. Here’s what you said.

You really like the idea of loan forgiveness.
Over the last several years, the number of public health nurses has fallen by more than half.
Maine Focus

LePage cut ranks of nurses who prevent outbreaks. Now lawmakers are trying to rebuild

In recent years, the number of public health nurses has fallen by more than half.
The Maine State House is pictured in January 2016.

LePage administration paid $315K for a consultant to rethink child care, then did nothing

The state told federal regulators it planned to carry out the consultant’s recommendations and re-upped with the consultant after its first proposal. But it appears there are no plans to follow through.