BDN Maine brought together a well-spoken group of individuals to discuss Solutions for Maine’s Economy last week. It was our first MaineFocus event on Growing Maine’s Economy and was held at the University of Maine’s Abromson Center. We plan to have other such events, which as part of the MaineFocus project are based on solutions, in Portland and Bangor in the future.
The event’s objective was to bring together entrepreneurs and decision makers in the public and private sector to discuss how to improve Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, how to increase Maine’s role in the global economy and what the education and workforce solutions are to growing Maine’s economy.
Our panels brought together the likes of former Gov. John Baldacci and successful entrepreneurs, such as James Knight of Orono-based Pelletco and Luke Livingston, founder of Baxter Brewing.
The discussions revealed that silos still exist when it comes to economic development in Maine.
“When you get into room of economic development specialists — national, state and local — there’s more economic development [specialists] than there are businesses, and it’s unfortunate,” Baldacci said.
Erin Rhoda, one of the BDN’s opinion page editors, compiled a list of the “10 ideas to make Maine a better place to live, work” that came out of the event. I think it’s worth checking out.