(As featured in the Courier newspaper)
Last week, a good number of legislators including myself, took an economic bus tour around key parts of the state. The Maine Development Foundation puts it on every year as a way of connecting policy with real world examples of the impact of those policies. Some of the tour highlights were the UPM Madison Paper Mill, Poland Springs Bottling Plant, New Balance Shoe Factory, University of Maine, and a free and reduced cost community health center.
At the University of Maine, I talked with students that participate in the Innovation Center. These students are coming up with great creative projects to help better communities and the state. It gave me hope that the future does seem bright with such passionate energy. These students want to stay in Maine to live and work, but are concerned that they might not be able to do that.
The message heard over and over again from manufacturers and business leaders is the need to get the next generation of workers trained for the jobs of tomorrow. Not necessarily trained in every specific aspect of a given trade, but have students learn the basics of liberal arts, acquire a strong work ethic, and an attitude for giving and receiving constructive feedback.
Justin Chenette is the state representative for district 134 in Saco. You can get legislative updates about the work out of the 126th Legislature at www.justinchenette.com, Facebook.com/justinforsaco, and Twitter.com/ justinchenette.
Beyond the Headlines
Weekly Column featured in The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier Newspaper by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco