The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in Augusta, Maine working to drive sustainable, long-term economic growth for Maine. MDF stimulates new ideas, develops leaders, and provides common ground for solving problems and advancing issues. Learn more about our diverse programming at www.mdf.org.
MDF is committed to improving the quality and quantity of Maine’s workforce.
The report highlights indicators that measure Maine’s progress toward long-term, sustainable economic growth. Learn more about the 2017 Report.
Each report is made in partnership between MDF and the University of Maine’s Economics Department.
- Energy in Maine, February 2015
- Strategic Land Conservation in Maine, September, 2014
- The Fiscal Return on Higher Education in Maine, May, 2014
- Personal Income in Maine, October, 2013
- Productivity in Maine, August, 2013
View overview of Making Maine Work Report Series Overview.
The first report, Making Maine Work: Critical Investments for the Maine Economy, explored the investments needed to grow the economy and the factors influencing those decisions. Subsequent reports addressed the vital role of the University of Maine System in the state’s economy and culture, and the critical need to invest in early childhood development as an economic development strategy.
A 2010 survey of 1,000 Maine business leaders identified Maine’s loyal and skilled workforce as a top benefit. We need to act to ensure that this continues to be a benefit. Maine’s workforce is vital to our current and future economic success and is a strategic focus of both the Chamber and MDF. For Maine to move our economy forward, we need to address both the quantity and quality of our workforce. In simple terms, we need more workers with a variety of education and skills to meet the current and future needs of Maine employers.
Released in November, Making Maine Work: Growing Maine’s Workforce examined the impact of Maine’s demographics on our workforce and offered a comprehensive strategy for growing our workforce by 65,000 by 2020. The report outlined two basic strategies – increasing workforce participation among the existing population, and attracting workers from outside the state – to add 45,000 workers rather than lose 20,000, with half of the overall growth coming from each of these overarching strategies.
The report set realistic and meaningful targets and outlined recommendations for people with disabilities (10,000 additional workers by 2020), seniors 65 and over (12,000 additional workers), disengaged youth who are not employed and not in school (6,000 additional workers), veterans (5,000 additional workers), young adults (20,000 additional workers), and foreign workers (12,000 additional workers). The recommendations are based on best practices in Maine and elsewhere and frequently focus on increasing the scale and capacity of efforts already underway in Maine.
The companion report, Making Maine Work Preparing Maine’s Workforce, released December 2014, focuses on the quality of Maine’s workforce. Education and skills are increasingly important for the jobs of today and will be even more so for the jobs of tomorrow. Employers in Maine continue to struggle to find enough workers with the needed skills, education, and training, even as many Mainers struggle to find wor k. Helping students, and potential students, to make informed decisions about their educational choices and career paths can help them to find meaningful and rewarding work in Maine. Expanding the connections between employers and educational institutions can help to ensure that students are able to find success after graduation.
View Making Maine Reports:
- Making Maine Work Report Series Overview
- Making Maine Work Preparing Maine’s Workforce
- Making Maine Work: Growing Maine’s Workforce
- Making Maine Work: Critical Investments for the Maine Economy
- Making Maine Work: The Role of Maine’s Public Universities
- Making Maine Work: Investing in Young Children = Real Economic Development
View the Adult Learners and Workforce Opportunities report for individuals and employers.
We are working in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation to coordinate a statewide approach to increasing the degree attainment of Maine’s adult learners. Learn more about this statewide partnership.