FARMINGTON —  The relationship between higher education and the economy of Maine is the topic of  Friday’s Western Maine Legislative Caucus series.

During the forum and free breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m. in Olsen Student Center at the University of Maine at Farmington, a program on how Maine’s public university system can help grow industry and commerce in the state is planned.

Laurie Lachance, president and chief executive officer of the Maine Development Foundation, and Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, will present “Making Maine Work: The Role of Maine’s Public University System.”

The report is part of a larger project worked on collaboratively by the two organizations, “Making Maine Work: Critical Investments for the Maine Economy.” The study focuses attention on key economic issues that will encourage investment in Maine and help grow the economy.

“Maine faces several challenges now and in the years to come,” Lachance and Connors wrote in the report. “We have a slowly growing and aging work force and an economy in transition. The jobs of the future will require education and training beyond high school, and many of the highest growth and highest wage jobs will require a bachelor’s degree or more.”

Richard Pattenaude, chancellor of the University of Maine System, is expected to attend as a special guest.

The discussion will include a look at the public University System’s contribution to the Maine economy, the investments necessary to continue its role and what else can be done to maximize its potential.

The forum is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary breakfast. In case of inclement weather, the forum will be postponed until Feb. 25. Registration is not necessary.

Western Mountains Alliance and partners in Franklin County annually host nearly five legislative caucuses focused on issues impacting the region.

For more information, contact the Western Mountains Alliance at 778-3885 or visit

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