2017-04-27 / Editorial

Efforts are made toward job education

Legislative Lowdown
by Rep. Martin Grohman

Unemployment is currently at its lowest ever rate in Maine. While that’s good news, there is a downside. Businesses lack skilled workers. Restaurants and retail stores are all speaking of part-time and seasonal worker shortages. The Biddeford-Saco Chamber of Commerce practically has businesses on a waiting list to participate in their job fairs.

You hear it from the manufacturers. They are looking all the time. You hear it from accounting firms, from engineering and construction companies, who say they could grow if they could find more people. You hear it from medical offices, running short staffed.

However, there is good news. We have great programs at the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology located right onsite at Biddeford High School. Students receive modern, hands-on training in technical programs including business, medical sciences, machining, welding (my personal favorite), automotive repair and more. You can even get college credit. Plus, there are adult education classes, which is how I got started with it.

But we need to create a connection between students at the Center of Technology and nearby career opportunities. Many students and residents don’t know what we manufacture here in the area or what services are provided. We can do better with messaging, too – making sure students know that technical careers are excellent options, in clean, high tech manufacturing facilities, and that training at the Center of Technology is a good way to get there.

That’s why I’m so excited to participate in the Manufacturing Business Showcase on Thursday April 27 at the Little Theater at Biddeford High School. Led by staff of the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology in coordination with the Maine Association of Manufacturers, the group’s goal is to let everyone (not just students) know the great opportunities we have right here in our backyard.

The event starts at 6 p.m. and will have speakers from FMI, Sterling Rope, Texas Instruments and Howe and Howe, among others. I hope to see you there. And, if you’re looking to advance your career and I can make a connection for you, or if you have other thoughts, questions or concerns, please get in touch with me at 283-1476 or martin. grohman@legislature.maine.gov.

Rep. Martin Grohman (D-Biddeford) is serving his second term in the Maine Legislature. Outside the legislature, he is chairman of the Solid Waste Commission in Biddeford, and the owner of a small company called Hellocycle which does alkaline battery recycling by mail.

Return to top