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Maine Development Foundation

Press Release

Maine Economic Growth Council presents Measures of Growth in Focus 2012 report

Co-chairs, State Senator Chris Rector and Hussey Seating Company President and CEO, Tim Hussey, present annual economic report to the Maine Legislature and Governor

Date:

March 6th, 2012

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ryan Neale rneale@mdf.org 626-3119 or Ed Cervone ecervone@mdf.org 626-3112
      
Maine Economic Growth Council presents Measures of Growth in Focus 2012 report
Co-chairs, State Senator Chris Rector and Hussey Seating Company President and CEO, Tim Hussey,
present annual economic report to the Maine Legislature and Governor

Augusta, March 6, 2012—The Maine Economic Growth Council released its 2012 Measures of Growth in Focus annual economic report today. Council Co-chairs, Senator Chris Rector and Tim Hussey, President and CEO of Hussey Seating Company, presented the report to legislative leaders and the Governor’s office.  This year’s report highlights 25 indicators that measure Maine’s progress towards long-term, sustainable economic growth. 

The Growth Council awards Gold Stars to indicators that demonstrate exceptional performance. This year, the Council awarded two Gold Stars to International Exports and Cost of Energy.  Maine exported nearly $3.6 billion in commodities in 2011.  This was a 13% increase from 2010.  The export market continues to offer growth potential for Maine businesses.  The price of electricity for both the retail and industrial markets fell.  Retail dropped by just over 5% and industrial dropped by 15% from 2008 to 2009.  Maine made some progress in closing the gap with U.S. prices and continues to today. 

The Growth Council also assigns Red Flags to indicators that need attention. The Council gave five Red Flags to Research and Development Expenditures, Cost of Health Care, Transportation Infrastructure,  Fourth Grade Reading Scores, and Wellness and Prevention.

“Maine and the country finds itself in a period of economic recovery following the recent recession,” said Laurie Lachance, President and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation which is charged by the Legislature to administer the Council.  “The key to our future success lies with our people.  We need to ensure an environment where they reach their highest potential and where they are productive.  This means they need to educated – and we must start at birth.  They also need to be healthy, they need to be entrepreneurial, and they need to be engaged in the economy and their communities. ”

“The Measures of Growth report is a critical tool that allows policy makers, like myself, to evaluate where we have been and to make informed decisions about how we will get where need to go,” said Council Co-chair, Senator Chris Rector.  “A clear message from this year’s report is that we need to focus on improving the education and health of our people.  Doing this will not only improve the lives of Maine people, but it will also save Maine taxpayers money moving forward.  It is crucial to growing our economy.”

“The private sector values the Measures of Growth report,” said Council Co-chair, Tim Hussey, President and CEO of Hussey Seating Company. “The information in this report keeps us focused on the big forces driving our economy.  This is important to me as a manufacturer and as an employer.  In our business we need to innovate and be productive in order to compete in a global market.  Managing cost drivers like energy and health care while making investments in the Maine workforce and our state’s innovative capacity will keep us competitive and successful into the future.”

The Maine Economic Growth Council is comprised of 19 members, each appointed by the Governor, Senate President and Speaker of the House. The Council represents a diversity of interests including government, business, education, labor, and environment. The Council was established by state statute in 1993 to develop a plan for the state’s economic growth and create specific measures and benchmarks to assess Maine’s progress.

The Maine Development Foundation (MDF) empowers leaders, strengthens communities, and guides public policy. MDF was created by the Governor and Legislature in 1978 as a private, non-profit corporation with a broad mandate to promote Maine’s economy.

For a complete copy of the report please go to www.mdf.org

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