KVO Candidate Forum by Topic: Workforce Development

(For ease of isolating candidate responses by topics, the larger full forum post is being offered as single stand alone posts. ~KVO)
(State Senator Shenna Bellows of Manchester, who served on the Maine 128th Legislature’s LCRED- Labor, Commerce, Research, Economic Development- standing committee, discusses supporting broadband expansion and encouraging more potential young Mainers to become business owners.) 

Round 5: Workforce Development

  • Immigrant-owned businesses generated $60.8 million in business income in 2014 (Source: The Partnership for a New American Economy, “The Contributions of New Americas in Maine”, 2014 American Community Survey- 1 Year Sample.).
  • Medicaid Expansion will create about 6,000 new jobs, most with higher than average wages (Source: “Get the Facts on Question 2: Medicaid Expansion Will Help Maine”. Maine Equal Justice Partners.).
  • Despite historically low unemployment levels, Maine’s economy is still a major issue in the 2018 campaigns. That’s because Maine’s aging population, losses in traditional manufacturing industries, stagnant wages and the lure of better-paying jobs in other states continue to combine to create a workforce shortage for the foreseeable future. (Source: Central Maine’s “Morning Sentinel”, 9/18/18.)
  • According to a recent study, Maine students are graduating with an average loan of nearly $30,000. This places them with the 15th highest rate of of college debt in the nation.

Question for the Candidates: What is your vision of revitalizing our local workforce and boosting economic development? What concrete steps would be among your priorities for the next legislative session? Do you support college loan forgiveness programs as a means of encouraging students to stay in Maine after graduation?


1. Senator Shenna Bellows, Candidate for Senate District 14
2. Karen Kusiak, Candidate for Senate District 16
3. Jan Collins, Candidate for Senate District 17
4. Lindsey Harwath, Candidate for House District 79
5. Representative Kent Ackley, Candidate for House District 82
6. Representative Donna Doore, Candidate for House District 85
7. John Clark, Candidate for House District 105
8. Aaron Rowden, Candidate for House District 108
9. Representative Colleen Madigan, Candidate for House District 110
10. John Thiele, Candidate for House District 118


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