FARMINGTON — It is the private sector that will create prosperity in Maine, Gov. Paul LePage's senior economic policy adviser, John Butera, told those at the final Governor's Workshop on Job Creation on Wednesday.
About 60 people representing 55 businesses, economic development groups and other associations signed up to attend the event at the University of Maine at Farmington. UMF President Kathryn A. Foster welcomed them to the Roberts Learning Center.
The workshop sought input and feedback from Maine's job creators on what the state could do to improve the business climate and job creation in the state.
The seminar was part of a series of industry-specific workshops designed to bring business leaders together to share ideas and concerns about government policy.
Sessions included Marketing the Maine Brand with LePage; regulatory reform with Chandler Woodcock, the commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; energy reform with Ken Fletcher, director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security; and Patricia Aho, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.
The sessions also were intended to gain insight on the forestry industry, forest related jobs and the future opportunities offered from the state's vast forest resources.
The workshops were not open to the media or members of the public.
Butera told attendees to fill out a survey in their packet to give the governor and his staff information that could help them set policy and make government more responsible.
The nine-page survey covered questions related to general business, education quality, infrastructure needs, workforce, regulation, access to capital, workers' compensation, marketing and branding.
LePage said he is trying to create an environment in Augusta to help businesses be successful and improve the state's economy. He reiterated that government cannot create wealth and prosperity; it is the private sector that will create jobs and prosperity, he said.
He and his staff have been meeting with business representatives and others to find out what their customers need, what their clients need and what their constituents need and how the state can help.
Workshops were held in June and July in Brunswick, Springvale and Presque Isle.