This November, Mainers have a historic opportunity to invest in the state’s future workforce and economic prosperity by voting Yes on Question #4: An Investment in Maine’s Future. A portion of the bond, $7.5 million, will be invested directly in Aroostook County at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the University of Maine at Fort Kent.
This $49 million bond package – to be matched by at least $49 million in private and other public funds – will fund critically important investments that support our students’ success, prepare our graduates for great careers right here in Maine and assist Maine employers in filling critical jobs essential to growing their businesses and our state economy.
Maine’s economic success depends upon a skilled workforce – produced by Maine’s public universities like the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
In the last decade, the University of Maine System has awarded more than 56,000 degrees and most of our graduates – including many not originally from here – stay in Maine to live, work and contribute to our communities.
But with record low unemployment, an aging population and severe shortages expected in jobs requiring a four-year or advanced degree like teaching and nursing, the time to invest in Maine’s public universities is now.
$7.5 million of the bond will be invested directly in Aroostook County to:
- Link more students to local internships and great careers that keep them in Maine.
- Renovate UMPI’s Wieden & Folsom Halls, modernizing and expanding classroom, lab and clinical spaces to grow high-demand healthcare programs to meet the region’s workforce needs.
- Specifically UMPI would receive $4.5 million which is entirely designated for expanding or developing programs that meet our regional, state and nation’s workforce needs, providing our graduates with competitive jobs and salaries for years to come.
- Produce more rural healthcare professionals by expanding four-year nursing education to central and southern Aroostook County through a UMFK-UMPI partnership.
- Complement plans already in motion for the construction of the research-grade Zillman Family Greenhouse, a cornerstone of our new Agricultural Science and Agribusiness program.
- Ensure employers can fill jobs to grow their businesses and our region’s economy.
Maine relies on the $1.5 billion annual statewide economic impact of the University of Maine System – a $7.50 return for every State dollar.
For less than the cost of a new Maine high school, Question 4 will:
- Improve and expand classrooms and labs to provide modern education and training in sectors where Maine most needs workers.
- Increase recruitment, retention and graduates ready for good-paying Maine careers.
- Reduce operating and maintenance costs and the University’s footprint, consistent with a right-sizing commitment that has already produced $82 million in annual System savings.
- Bring more students, jobs, investments and opportunities to University campuses and Maine communities.
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For more information about Question 4 and its impact, visit:
Question 4: An Investment in Maine’s Future
University of Maine System
Director of Government & Community Relations