Maine enterprise and better training leaders announce ‘Compact on Immigration’

Through the treaty, 82 chambers of commerce, trade associations, companies and universities are campaigning for a reform of immigration policy.

MAINE, USA – Maine business and higher education executives advocate reforming immigration policies through a new Maine Compact on Immigration.

The pact is a set of principles for the state advocating federal immigration reforms.

The pact reads: “The Maine Pact on Immigration is a bipartisan initiative by members of the business community and higher education in Maine to promote immigration policies that strengthen our economies and communities, attract and retain global talent, and create new entrepreneurs, businesses and workers our nation and our state. “

It was sent to the Maine Congressional Delegation (Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King, Representative Chellie Pingree, and Representative Jared Golden) on Tuesday. The group behind the pact says their goal is to educate elected officials about the economic contributions that immigrants are making to our state.

On Tuesday, February 23, dozens of business and higher education executives gathered in Maine to announce the formation of the Pact.

Maine Business Immigration Coalition President David Barber chaired the virtual meeting. “For strong communities and for a strong economic future, Maine needs immigrants,” said Barber.

“Nobody in the state still denies the fact that our economy is a global economy,” said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “Shouldn’t our workforce have a global impact?”

The group focused in part on the need to take in more immigrants in order for the state to maintain its workforce.

According to Maine’s “Ten-Year Strategic Workforce Plan,” the state will lose 65,000 workers through retirement by 2029. In order for our state to continue to thrive, the state must increase its workforce by 75,000 over the same period of time.

According to Connors, immigrants are key: “Without the immigrant community, we wouldn’t even come close to 75,000.”

That’s because there aren’t enough young Mainers to fill those lost positions. According to Amanda Recto, state economist for Maine, “Even if we keep all of our young people here, we just don’t have enough of them in the state to replace the retired baby boomers. We need to attract more workers to the state if we are.” ” We will have enough people to fill the jobs that will open up when older workers retire, and we need to attract even more if we want businesses to grow. ”

Not only is Maine’s economy growing and thriving, the coalition argues that the diversity of experiences is beneficial.

“They see the world differently than we do, and that difference is power,” said Deborah Bronk, President and CEO of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

In the world of science, according to Brock, diversity is a “critically important strategic issue”. She suggests that China is becoming a scientific leader as it aggressively recruits top scientists from around the world.

“Today, China publishes more peer-reviewed scientific articles than any other country in the world. It used to be the US,” said Bronk.

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Portland business owner Adele Ngoy also spoke at the meeting. Ngoy is the founder of Adele Masengo Designs and the owner of Antoine’s Tailoring and Evening Wear.

Ngoy immigrated to the United States as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo 20 years ago.

“I got here and couldn’t speak English. I brought myself, no money and my three children. The only thing I brought with me was my skills.”

Ngoy says she strongly supports the pact’s efforts.

“As immigrants, we know what we’re bringing here. Everything we have learned at home, we bring here to support our communities here and to be separated from them. This is our new home. This is our new country, and we come here to love it. ” and give the best of us. ”

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