MEXICO — A statewide jobs tour initiated by House Democratic Speaker Mark Eves will make a stop at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, March 30.

Jodi Quintero, communications director for Eves, said Friday that Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, and Rep. Matt Peterson, D-Rumford, will speak to students and faculty about “what’s in store for the future of logging and forest products industry jobs in the area.”

From 12:45 to 3:15 p.m., Patrick and Peterson will visit Nichols Brothers Inc. logging company in Rumford and tour its work site in Bethel.

Eves launched the jobs tour at the beginning of the year to “spotlight the need for more jobs and better wages in the state,” Quintero said. Lawmakers have visited communities in York, Kennebec, Aroostook and Somerset counties.

“The lawmakers talk to business leaders, workers and students in the areas that pertain to each county,” Quintero said. “For instance, in Central Maine, we talked a lot about agriculture. When we went to York county, we discussed precision machining.”

Quintero said in a news release that the jobs tour is connected to a proposal by Eves for a statewide investment of $5 million over five years to “create at least 10 public-private partnerships to support job training in high-demand fields” and “fund scholarships for workers and students to gain the skills they need to fill jobs in growing sectors, including agriculture, high-skilled manufacturing, information technology and health care.”

“If we want our economy to succeed, we have to stand up for our workers,” Patrick said in the new release. “Workers are the backbone of our state and our products are only as good as the hardworking people who make them.”

Eves said that the stop at Region 9 and Nichols Brothers Inc. will “help lawmakers understand how new technology is transforming Maine’s traditional logging industry and its workforce.”

Quintero said the jobs tour would take a break for a few months until the legislative session is over and would resume later in the year.

“Speaker Eves made an effort to reach lawmakers on both sides of the aisle when launching this proposal,” Quintero said. “He invited members of both parties to join. It’s a bipartisan priority.”

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