On November 6, voters approved Question 4, Maine's Workforce Bond. The USM Foundation has been instrumental in helping to support this effort, which will now bring more than $25 million in direct investment to USM’s three campuses, supporting workforce development and job creation in critically needed areas. A message from University of Maine System Chancellor James Page is posted here, on the Yes on 4 facebook page.
USM President Glenn Cummings Thanks the Community
In this letter to the USM community, President Cummings thanks the USM Foundation and the many people who worked to educate voters about Question 4 and tirelessly supported its passage. He also lays out exciting opportunities for USM going forward.
"For our students, passage of Question 4 will translate to an enhanced learning environment, better preparation for future careers, and more integrated interaction with area employers.
For the rest of us, yesterday marked a key date in our steady approach to becoming a truly great university."
For more information on the critical importance of this bond, here is a round-up of stories and information on why investment in our public universities is necessary to meet Maine's workforce needs:
Watch the October 1 episode of The USM Update, which highlights workforce development and the impact of Question 4. USM's Nursing and Engineering programs are the focus.
Maine Chamber & Educate Maine endorse Question 4. Maine's leading business advocacy organizations explain why University investment is critical to meeting statewide workforce needs.
Question 4 Addresses Maine's Nursing Crisis
FACT: 51% of Maine’s RNs are age 50 or older. With so many nurses retiring in the next decade, the projected shortage by 2025 is 3,200. Question 4 will enable USM to expand its nursing simulation lab and graduate 250 more nurses every five years.
Learn how USM and the University of Maine System are responding to the nursing crisis – and why passing Question 4 is so important:
- USM's School of Nursing Tackles Workforce Challenge
- President Cummings and UMaine System presidents announce strategic response to nursing crisis
- Portland Press Herald Op-Ed: "University's nursing plan is the right way to face a crisis."
- USM launches Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner degree
Question 4 Addresses Maine’s shrinking workforce
According to Maine State Economist Amanda Rector, Maine’s labor pool could shrink by as much as one third over the next decade, making workforce development a critical issue. Amanda Rector, a graduate of USM's Muskie School of Public Service, explains more in this WGME interview.
- Engineering: Demand for engineers in Maine continues to rise. If passed, Question 4 will add needed funding to the engineering department enabling USM to double the number of engineering grads in 10 years. See where USM has provided over 950 students internships at more than 430 employers nationwide with this interactive map.
- Career Readiness: Passing Question 4 will enable USM to create a new Student Success Center on USM’s Portland campus. With the building of the center, we expect 750 additional career-ready graduates entering the workforce every five years. Career readiness is the subject of The USM Update, September 4.
More information on the bond and its impact on Maine's public universities is available here:
- Yes4MainesWorkforce Facebook page
- University of Maine System: www.maine.edu/invest