Finance

Maine Hopes to Solve Worker Shortage With Migrants

Maine Gov. Janet Mills and a state lawmaker who immigrated from Somalia unveiled a proposal Friday to strive to resolve the state’s severe employee scarcity by tapping swiftly rising immigrant communities.

Maine historically has had among the many smallest immigrant populations within the nation. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, solely about 4% of the state’s residents have been born outdoors the U.S.

That has been regularly altering as tens of hundreds of residents descended from Somalia and different African international locations have made houses in Portland and Lewiston, two of the state’s largest cities. Those arrivals helped push up the proportion of foreign-born residents by a few share level between 2000 to 2022, in accordance to census figures.

The Office of New Americans is proposed in a invoice by state Rep. Deqa Dhalac, the primary Somali immigrant to grow to be mayor of a U.S. metropolis in 2021, when she took workplace in South Portland. She was elected to the Maine Legislature final yr. Dhalac and Mills say the invoice would deal with shortages in essential industries together with well being care, training and development.

“Improving how Maine introduces and integrates New Americans into its communities and economy is viewed as one key strategy to address the state’s workforce needs, as attracting and retaining new workers is a priority for Maine’s economic future,” they mentioned in a information launch.

Under Dhalac’s invoice, among the many new workplace’s major actions could be offering pathways for immigrant staff to get hold of skilled accreditation and licenses. The workplace would even be accountable for “engaging with businesses to increase employment, retention and advancement of immigrant employees,” the proposal states.

The invoice is due for a public listening to on Jan. 30.

At least 18 different states have workplaces or workers centered on bringing immigrants into the workforce, together with in New England, the place officers are dealing with housing shortages whereas making an attempt to welcome rising numbers of immigrants fleeing their homelands for the Northeast.


Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.

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