Education and Workforce Development

Minimum Wage testimony figure 1 4-5-2017
April 8, 2017
In Maine, eight of 10 workers who are paid the subminimum wage are women, according to the left-leaning Maine Center for Economic Policy. Tipped workers are twice as likely to live in poverty as other workers and nearly half of tipped workers rely on public assistance, the center’s research found.

Education and Workforce DevelopmentMaine is renowned for the productivity and strong work ethic of its labor force. To find and advance in well-paying jobs, Mainers must have a good education, preferably including college or other post-secondary degrees and certifications. In order to grow and compete in the national and global economies, Maine businesses need workers with the training and skills of the 21st century. MECEP research and analysis assist policymakers in assessing the effectiveness of specific programs and determining budget priorities. We also strive to identify policies that will make post-secondary education and job training more affordable and enable those seeking to advance their education to overcome obstacles like the cost of child care.

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May 25, 2017
From 2011 to 2015, the proportion of Maine children living in extreme poverty, family earnings of less than $10,000 per year, grew at eight times the national average, according to data from the Maine Center for Economic Policy.
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May 13, 2017
“Federal student loan borrowers can exercise an array of options from income-driven repayment plans to discharges for disability. Unfortunately, the worst student loan servicers purposely fail to advise borrowers of these options instead keeping their customers in high-cost payment plans on which they are doomed to default.
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May 10, 2017
In Maine, most students do borrow for college. Sixty-three percent left school with debt in 2015, carrying an average debt load of $30,000. The debt load is even higher at Maine’s public universities.
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May 5, 2017
The bill also received the support of the Maine Center for Economic Policy, State Director of the Maine Community College System Jim McGowan, Gilda Nardone of New Ventures Maine and Carla Dickstein, senior vice president of Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
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May 2, 2017
The Competitive Skills Scholarship program provides grants to low-income students not only for tuition and books, but also for child care, transportation, and emergencies critical for adult students to enter and stay in school.
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May 2, 2017
This is not the time to pit older people against families with children when deciding whether the mil rate is more important than well-staffed quality schools.
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April 24, 2017
  Real reform of Maine’s safety net programs requires addressing the causes of poverty, and the ability of Mainers to get into work, education, or training.
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April 24, 2017
We have a public and economic interest in making sure that students have access to affordable higher education that will give them the skills they need to get good-paying jobs.
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April 13, 2017
“There’s just no data to support that level of total outmigration,” [MECEP’s Garrett Martin] says. Caroline Cornish, WCSH-TV, April 13, 2017, interviews MECEP’s Garrett Martin. Martin disputes the governor’s Office of Policy and Management’s study conclusion that the education tax surcharge approved by voters on income over $200,000 will cause people to leave the state.
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April 10, 2017
I would urge the committee to recognize the serious nature of the college affordability crisis in our nation and state. Please also bear in mind that college affordability is a bigger issue than the cost of tuition.