America's Edge says partnership between education, business is key to closing skills gap

5:33 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A new report out today suggests Maine will need 15,000 more highly-skilled workers to make sure it can fill future jobs. America's Edge, a national group made up of business leaders, is pushing greater connections between education and business as the solution.

Lake Region High School, for instance, turned around its poor graduation rate through its academy program. Students work together on projects that often involve help from the business community. America's Edge sees programs like that as key to closing Maine's skills gap.

Members from the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to the Maine Development Foundation are calling on all sectors of the state, whether its government, business or non-profits, to continue to find ways to bring students and employers together.

"I don't think we can say enough times how important this is. I don't know anything that's more important to the future of the state's economy than this conversation," said Chris Hall, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

America's Edge also cited a bipartisan bill going through the legislature as a step towards closing the skills gap. LD 90 seeks to make more connections between Maines' community colleges, university system and business.


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