York County Republicans Applaud Jobs Program

Augusta – Wednesday, House Republicans from York County joined Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves and other Democrats to take part in an event at Pratt & Whitney aimed at celebrating the success of a jobs program that has yielded incredible results. The program is a collaboration between Pratt & Whitney and York County Community College that has filled 1,200 new jobs in the area with the help of $330,000 in state funds. Representatives Bob Foley, Karen Gerrish and Don Marean were invited to take part in the event.

“We’re pleased that Democrats have finally realized what we’ve been saying for a long time; Jobs are created in the private sector and government should only be there to help that process along, not hinder it,” said Rep. Bob Foley who represents most of Wells.

Making sure Maine’s workforce has the skills employers are looking for will help take a bite out of Maine’s unemployment numbers.

“This sort of targeted approach is exactly what we need to help hard-working Mainers find good paying jobs,” said Rep. Karen Gerrish who represents Acton, Lebanon and part of Shapleigh. “We are very interested in using this program as a model to bring good paying jobs to the rest of Maine.”

In the process of Wednesday’s event, Speaker Eves spoke about a $5 million, 5 year plan to bolster public-private training partnerships across Maine. House Republicans have not been fully briefed on this proposal and we will withhold final judgment until we have had the opportunity to hear from Speaker Eves about all the details in his plan.

It is refreshing to know that amidst all the differences between Republicans and Democrats, we may be able to find some common ground when it comes to issues like closing the jobs gap and
Maine is slowly but steadily emerging from one of the worst recessions in recent memory. The initiatives Governor LePage and the Republican-led Legislature have implemented over the past four years have been the driving force in that recovery. The unemployment rate in Maine continues to drop and we are now getting our fiscal house in order after years of budget deficits with Democrats in control.

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