Policy Leaders Academy

Experiential training for Maine’s legislators

Policy Leaders Academy is a non-partisan educational program of the Maine Development Foundation for Maine Legislators on the Maine economy. This program has delivered high quality, objective and non-partisan experiential training to legislators since 1985. The program is open and free for all Maine Legislators.

Program participants learn about the fundamentals of the Maine economy and the factors that drive long-term growth. Participants learn how their public policy decisions affect the growth and investment strategies of Maine’s for-profit businesses and organizations. They learn this through interacting directly with business, non-profit, education and community leaders throughout Maine.

Policy Leaders Academy is a program of the Maine Development Foundation, with strong financial and personnel support from several prominent Maine foundations and organizations committed to a prosperous and thriving state.

January 2022 Policy Leaders Academy Events

Maine Development Foundation is pleased to offer the following three January 2022 virtual learning opportunities for all members of the 130th Maine Legislature. These will be panel discussions followed by Q&A. Please RSVP to Julie Beane indicating which forum(s) you wish to attend. All forums are for legislators only and free of charge.

The Maine Economy: Fundamentals, Trends & Vision for Growth

When:  Friday, January 7, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Where: Zoom

After nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maine economy is showing signs of both strength and concern. Join us for a two-part primer on the Maine Economy in 2022, starting with a discussion of the new 2022 Measures of Growth report, which offers a non-partisan, data-based snapshot of where Maine sits relative to other states and the U.S. Then hear an up-to-the-minute overview by State Economist Amanda Rector, and learn about what has changed in Maine’s economy, what hasn’t, and what the future may hold. Don’t miss this substantive overview of where the Maine economy stands and the challenges and opportunities for prosperity in the years to come.

Presenters: Yellow Light Breen, MDF, and Amanda Rector, Maine State Economist

Connecting Maine People with Training and Career Pathways

When:  Friday, January 14, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Where: Zoom

Join us for a discussion with higher education and business leaders to learn more about innovative training models to help Maine people thrive in various sectors of our economy. The conversation will include details about employer-led training, apprenticeships, short-term training, and advanced degrees. 

Presenters: Jason Judd, Educate Maine; David Daigler, Maine Community College System; other guests TBA

How to Help Small Businesses in Your Legislative District

When:  Friday, January 21, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Where: Zoom

Small business is the lifeblood of the Maine’s economy: the state has over 150,000 small businesses that employ over 55% of all employees, and new business startup and survival rates are among the highest in New England. This session focuses on how YOU can help the small businesses in your district access the information and expertise they need to begin, grow, and thrive. Our highly interactive panel discussion and break-out sessions will feature small business owners and state and federal program experts who will answer your questions and provide practical, useable information to share with constituents. The session also will feature an update on the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy in action and the use of Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Presenters: Diane Sturgeon, U.S. SBA; Charlotte Mace, DECD; Chris Rector, Entrepreneur and Former Legislator; Grace Mo-Phillips, CEI; Anne Ball, MDF; other guests TBA

All sessions are held via Zoom from 8-10am.


Maine State Budget Primer 2021

click image to download primer

Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee Report

click image to download report

Policy Leaders Academy Partners

Policy Leaders Academy is a program of Maine Development Foundation, with strong financial and personnel support from several prominent Maine foundations and organizations committed to a prosperous and thriving state. The generous support of these organizations allows MDF to leverage expertise from across Maine to provide legislators with rich learning opportunities at no cost to individual legislators.

This year’s Policy Leaders Academy is brought to you by the following partners:

“The 2019 3-day bus trip proved that as Mainers we can create so much when given resources and inspiration. I’m grateful for the chance to have made meaningful connections with so many hardworking, visionary people – not just the leaders of our tours and talks, but also my fellow Legislators, hailing from all parties and parts of our state, joking, chatting, and eating lunch alongside me on the bus.” 

State Representative Vicki Doudera (D-Rockport)