Jackson Lab and University of New England urge business bond to legislature

By Ramona du Houx - February 3rd, 2014 · Filed under: Business & InnovationCapitol news · No Comments

Maine State Capitol. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Experts from Jackson Laboratories, the University of New England, and other Maine businesses urged the Legislature’s special workforce committee to support an investment bond aimed at helping businesses grow and create jobs and bolster Maine’s economic recovery.

“We heard from these organizations about the unique opportunity to move Maine to the forefront of development and innovation,” said Senator Linda Valentino, who serves as the Senate Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. “Investment in our innovators will lead directly to commercialization, job creation, and will help bolster Maine’s economic recovery.”

The University of New England testified about the need for investment in a marine research vessel noting the ability to “transform Maine’s marine economy” with this bond, including employing more than 31,000 people in the region.

“Now is the time for Maine to make an investment in our businesses and create jobs,” said House Majority Leader Seth Berry, the House Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future. “The testimony we heard today reinforced that every dollar we invest in these industries will have a multiplier effect and ripple throughout our economy.”

Jackson Laboratories testified on the potential of a new biometric facility to advance its research on treating cancer, making it the largest center in the United States. They noted that the return on state investment is about 12:1.

Maine has recovered merely one-third of jobs lost from recession; ranking third from the bottom among worst per state job growth.

The Workforce Committee will continue meeting in the next few weeks to formulate a bond proposal which will go to the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs for review.