“Working with the Maine Chamber of Commerce and their members, my Administration has been providing tools to Maine businesses to help them innovate, invest and grow jobs,” said Governor Baldacci. “The certification of regional specialists is an important shift in the way the State approaches economic development, recognizing that it’s best directed from the ground-up, not top-down.”
Governor Baldacci charged the DECD with coordinating and empowering regions so that they can further economic development in ways that makes sense to them.
The Governor told the certified specialists that they are critical links to this new way of linking business to State incentives.
“You will provide the best resources and assistance on the ground to the business community in your region,” said the Governor. “The State has effective incentives to attract and grow business, such as Maine’s Pine Tree Zone program, and your ability to connect interested groups to these programs will help provide jobs in your communities.”
The regionalization of economic development in the State is one of a number of issues raised by businesses at the Governor’s Jobs Summit held in February.
The Jobs Summit has also led to other initiatives that have grown with the input of the business community, including creating a one-stop-shop of economic development tools and information at DECD. The Governor also announced this fall the Invest in Maine Initiative with the Maine International Trade Center, which will attract new investment into the State.
The Governor and the Maine Chamber of Commerce announced in October an initiative of the Chamber that partners with Maine institutions of higher education to help develop Maine’s workforce. InternHelpME.com is an online matching serve to link students in Maine to internship opportunities with Maine businesses.
All these initiatives are designed to enable Maine businesses to have access to more tools to help them succeed.