Senate Republican Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Who: Senator Roger Katz, Representative Jared Golden, John Dorrer, former Director of Research, MDOL
What: Press conference on LD 1492, “An Act To Attract, Educate and Retain New Mainers To Strengthen the Workforce”
When: Tuesday, May 9 at 12:00 PM
Where: Welcome Center, State House
AUGUSTA – On Tuesday, May 9, Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) will hold a press conference on his proposal to help strengthen Maine’s workforce with LD 1492, “An Act To Attract, Educate and Retain New Mainers To Strengthen the Workforce,” at noon in the Welcome Center of the Maine State House.
This bipartisan bill seeks to address Maine’s workforce shortage by establishing the Office of New Mainers to:
- Coordinate with state agencies and programs to attract, educate, integrate and retain immigrants into Maine’s workforce
- Administer programs, projects and grants to attract, educate, integrate and retain immigrants into our workforce, economy and communities
- Develop metrics to evaluate outcomes
- Establish a committee to provide input and guide the development and implementation of the comprehensive plan
The bill would also establish a Welcome Center Initiative to provide vocational training for foreign-trained workers, match those individuals with employers in areas experiencing a shortage of trained workers and establish three grant programs to provide support to immigrants, communities and adult education programs to achieve the stated goals.
“Just this week, the Maine Department of Labor announced a seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of just 3 percent for March, which is the lowest unemployment rate on record since the current estimation methodology was implemented in 1976,” said Sen. Katz.
“Yet so many Maine employers regularly report that there’s a critical shortage of available workers in Maine. This goes to show that with an aging and declining population, we need to take steps to attract new talent to our state so our economy can continue to grow.”
The Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs will hold a public hearing on LD 1492 on Wednesday, May 10 at 9:00 AM in Room 202 of the Cross Building.