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Workforce Challenges: What Is Being Done To Address Unemployment & Labor Shortages In Maine

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This is part of “Maine’s Evolving Economy”—a series of shows focusing on the shifts in Maine’s economy caused by the pandemic.

As many employers struggle to find enough workers, some of them blame the government's enhanced unemployment benefits for disincentivizing work, while others point to deeper systemic problems. We’ll discuss the current state of the labor market in Maine, and what’s being done to address unemployment and labor shortages.

Panelists:
Laura Fortman, commissioner, Maine Department of Labor
Philip Trostel, professor of economics and public policy, University of Maine

VIP Callers:
Garrett Martin, executive director, Maine Center for Economic Policy
Dana Connors, president, Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Lee Ann Lowe, human resources manager, Jøtul North America
Phil Roland, CEO, Aquest Corp.
Jennifer Morin, workforce leader, Bristol Seafood

Jennifer walked into her college radio station as a 17-year-old freshman and never looked back. Even though she was terrified of the microphone back then — and spoke into it as little as possible — she loved the studio, the atmosphere and, most of all, the people who work in broadcasting. She was hooked. Decades later, she’s back behind the radio microphone hosting Maine Public Radio’s flagship talk program, Maine Calling. She’s not afraid of the mic anymore, but still loves the bright, eclectic people she gets to work with every day.