Maine International Trade Center, Maine Turnpike Authority, Maine Department of Economic Development, Maine & Company and Live +Work in Maine Create Public Awareness Campaign
A partnership between top Maine economic development organizations and the Maine Turnpike Authority is helping fund a pilot program to attract top talent to Maine. The Maine Department of Economic Development (DECD), Maine International Trade Center (MITC), Maine & Company, Live + Work in Maine and Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) recognized the immediate – and possibly long-term – opportunity to capitalize on the busy tourist season. While out of state tourists enjoy Maine from a recreational standpoint, the program aims to demonstrate the professional opportunities that also exist. As DECD Commissioner George Gervais states, “Where most see lines of tourists, we see opportunity.”
These organizations all bring critical areas of expertise and resources to the program. MITC’s StudyMaine program focuses on student attraction, Maine & Company focuses on business attraction, Live + Work in Maine focuses on talent attraction and DECD focuses on business development for the state. The Turnpike Authority’s physical locations – such as rest areas – allow for program messages to be seen by the over 34 million out-of-state visitors expected to pass through this summer.
The organic collaboration focuses on bringing new talent to the state to support growth in three specific areas – attracting individuals in the life science and advanced manufacturing industries, as well as encouraging students from out of state to consider Maine high schools, universities, and colleges.
Over 2,000 companies in Maine are internationally active with 180,000 existing jobs tied to international trade. Maine is also home to 6 world-class bio-medical research institutions and Maine ranks #1 in the US for its infrastructure connectivity.
The pilot program kicks off with 3 banner signs at top tourist rest areas – Kennebunk North/Kennebunk South and West Gardiner – that focus on the work/life balance that exists in Maine. “We wanted to capture the imagination of tourists who may have dreams of studying, working or doing business here and feature photos of surfer scientists, mountain biking engineers and students bringing kayaks on campus,” explains Janine Cary, President of MITC. “At the Gardiner rest area, the ad includes French language as a nod to the large Canadian French population coming through.” The ads will also appear in Portland Magazine’s Summerguide and the Mainebiz Fact Book.
The creative drives to a dedicated page on the Live + Work in Maine site where more information on Maine employers, career events, Maine’s employment market and additional quality of life insight is available. Additionally, an informational kiosk is available at the Kennebunk (North) rest area and will provide instant access to explore the Live and Work in Maine site. The site, created by Ed McKersie, is designed to attract workforce for the knowledge-based industries to Maine. The kiosk will also capture and build a database of individuals interested in working in Maine.
Maine & Company, which provides free and confidential consulting services to businesses looking to relocate to or expand in Maine, has also funded a weekly lobster drawing to further encourage interest. “We realize that we need to take a collaborative and multi-faceted approach to driving business growth in Maine,” said Peter DelGreco, president and CEO of Maine & Company. “Our board of directors consists of successful Maine business leaders who provide real-life expertise on working and growing your business in Maine. These executives could have selected anywhere in the US, and deliberately chose Maine.”