The guest column by Educate Maine’s Jason Judd (Oct. 13) was spot-on: to grow Maine’s current and future workforce, the public and private sectors must commit to making sure all Maine people have the educational training, credentials and experience needed to succeed in Maine’s 21st century economy.

For the past 11 years, I’ve been fortunate to lead an architectural, engineering and planning firm with offices in Auburn, Portland, Portsmouth and Boston, and have been involved in hiring workers at all levels within our company. Those experiences have made me acutely aware of our skills gap challenge, and I stand ready to support initiatives to address it.

It’s heartening to see that so many of Maine’s education leaders and employers are coming together under the MaineSpark initiative, committed to achieving a common goal: that 60 percent of Maine adults have a credential of value by 2025. That will mean brighter futures for employees and their families, as well as for the companies and communities in which they work. This is important not just for today’s employers, but also for those currently considering locating their businesses in Maine, especially in emerging industries like aquaculture, food production and bio-pharma/research science.

Everywhere I travel, I hear that developing Maine’s workforce is critical. As the state with the oldest population, we need every young person to reach his or her fullest potential, and build a career right here in Maine.

I am pleased that MaineSpark’s many partners are helping to better link workplace opportunities with appropriate education and training.

Clifton W. Greim, Auburn

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