By Zach Drew
Ultimately, that is what we are all here for, right? Each of us is making that personal investment in skill and knowledge building so that we too can join the Great American Workforce. The prize at the end of line after selling back your books is to secure employment doing something for which you have prepared yourself and carry a passion around.
If you are anything like me, you have been thinking about this since high school. I spend a lot of time considering what it is I am going to do with my degree once I graduate. I also spend a lot of time worrying about the “how” of finding the right career.
I recently started research on this topic, and what I found was surprising. In a March 9 press release by the Maine Department of Labor, Governor LePage said that he was “pleased to announce that the state has reached its pre-recessionary levels of private-sector employment.” He went on to say, “We must continue the reforms that have put us on a path to prosperity and not make poor policy choices that will drive workers and job creators from our state. Maine must compete with other states and countries for the people, investments, jobs and industries that will increase the earnings of our people and attract new residents to grow our workforce and meet the needs of these employers.”
What does this mean for SMCC students? It means career opportunities right here in Maine. The Maine Department of Labor website currently has a “Maine-at-Work Initiative” posted. The website contains information designed to connect job seekers with employers. There is a wide variety of information available on the site, and I recommend checking it out.
The workforce in Maine is getting older, and people are retiring at record numbers. This is not a phenomenon unique to Maine; it is happening across the country. What is good for us is the fact that those running the state recognize the need to keep young workers right here in Maine. There are free resources available through the Maine Department of Labor for tuition assistance as well as job connection services.
On a final note, I noticed the information provided by the Department of Labor indicated the average income in Maine rose in 2015 to just over $40,000. There is not anything available for 2016; however, I was hopeful given the trend and availability of work. So, my advice to each of you is to relax and enjoy the remainder of your education.
Check out the Maine-at-Work website, maine.gov/maineatwork/jobseeker, and use it to prepare for your future.