Comment: Science and technology are a boon to Mainers

Comment: Science and technology are a boon to Mainers

If there has been a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the increased attention to science. At the same time, we remember the financial burdens faced by so many people who have lost their jobs and their income. If we’ve learned anything from the events of 2020, it’s that Maine’s workforce needs to be prepared for the unexpected and adapt when it happens.

Our organizations recently collaborated on a series of webinars focused on the Maine workforce and its preparation for careers in fields related to science, technology, engineering, math and medicine – from professions that pay higher wages and stand up to tough times. The in four parts series included distinguished leaders from government, academia and business – professionals who understand the issues facing employees and employers and who are able to create innovative programs to address these challenges.

As Heather Johnson, Commissioner for Economic and Community Development of Maine, points out, employment in the STEM sector was increasing by 8% per year and non-STEM jobs by only 3% before the pandemic. In addition, the life sciences sector, which includes the professions necessary for the development, production and distribution of …

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