Front and center to the GROWashington-Aroostook regional plan is the determination to increase median household income. This task links the regional plan to Mobilize Maine, an asset-based approach to economic development. Already underway in Aroostook County, the Mobilize Maine process will expand its geographic scope and asset inventory to include Washington County. Additional strategies will work to stem population loss throughout the region.
- Increase in the median household income and stem population loss
- Alignment of federal planning and investment resources that mirror the local and regional strategies for achieving sustainable communities
- Creation of new and expanded growth in renewable energy markets resulting in significant job growth and increased average wages
- Reduce social and economic disparities for the low income and communities of color within the target region
Progress to Date
A Business Retention and Expansion Survey was sent to all Washington County businesses with employees in the Sunrise County Economic Council database (~500 businesses) in December 2012. 91 responses were collected from December 2012 - March 2013. Survey results have been compiled and are available here.
SCEC, Maine Community Foundation, and Maine Development Foundation have published a report ("Raising Levels of Education and Training Beyond High School in Washington County") which takes a closer look at strategies for creating a more proficient workforce Down East. A listing of source material for this report is available here.
The Aroostook Partnership for Progress, along with staff from Northern Maine Development Commission and Vital Economy, are creating a Workforce Training and Educational Program Matrix that identifies and lists existing resources and the constituents they serve. This tool will be used by the many working groups that are involved in building a better connection between employer needs and workforce training. These groups include the Northern Maine Educational Coalition, the Career Pathways work group, and the Local Workforce Investment Board.
The Aroostook Jobs Projection Survey, Phase I results are in and the findings will be summarized and posted on the APP website at http://www.appme.org/jobs/main.html. The data obtained from the survey has been assembled in a user-friendly format to be shared with and used by employment service providers at the Aroostook County Action Program and CareerCenters. Clients that access those services will be able to get actual employment projections from local employers in 9 different industry sectors in order to help them make career path or retraining choices.