Maine Needs Talent

Maine Needs Talent

Jamie Merisotis, President & CEO of the Lumina Foundation and author of the book America Needs Talent, was the keynote speaker at the Maine Development Foundation’s 2017 Annual Meeting on September 26.  The focus of Merisotis’ address was on the need for a skilled workforce to meet the demands of an ever-changing 21st century economy.  In Maine, this issue is particularly relevant as our population ages, as our young adults leave the state for opportunities they can’t find at home, and as our population growth remains flat. 

Few sectors are experiencing this workforce squeeze like the health care sector.  With more health care providers retiring than can be replaced with its current population, Maine doesn’t just need to train more skilled workers to meet the demand, we also need more trained providers to move to Maine from out of state, or even from out of the country.  According to a 2016 report from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Development Foundation, “one-quarter of current health care and social assistance workers are 55 and over; the sector will need an influx of workers to provide the nearly 9,000 additional workers projected to be needed by 2024.”

MaineSpark, a new collaborative initiative of the Maine Workforce & Education Coalition, seeks to address Maine’s talent shortage.  The goal of the initiative is to make sure that by 2025, 60% of Maine workers hold education and workforce credentials that position Maine and its families for success.  The coalition will focus on four strategic areas to achieve this goal:

  • Strong Foundations to make sure all Maine children begin life with good educational opportunities to help build the foundation they need to improve outcomes throughout school.
  • Future Success to prepare Maine’s youth beginning in middle school for college, training and career options so they are ready to launch successful adult lives.
  • Adult Promise to increase adult learner educational attainment by offering information, support and resources for those looking to start or finish a degree or certificate, change careers or learn a new trade or skill.
  • New Opportunities to support graduates of Maine colleges and other programs who would like to stay in Maine and build their careers here, and connect new and potential residents looking to begin a new chapter of life in Maine.

Every aspect of MeHAF’s work is impacted by the need for a skilled health care workforce in Maine.  That’s why we will continue to identify opportunities with partners like the Maine Development Foundation to foster the talent Maine needs to ensure a bright and healthy future for all people in Maine. 

To learn more and to find out how your organizations can support these efforts, go to


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