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March 10, 2009
State of the State 2009 Part I
All of these projects will create thousands of good-paying, private-sector jobs in Maine just when we need them the most.
To capitalize on these new jobs and to build the industries of the 21st Century, Maine must invest in education, innovation, and research and development.
A generation ago, a high school diploma opened the door to a good job that could last a lifetime. That’s not true anymore. Success today depends on a college education.
That’s why I propose significant investments in Maine’s institutions of higher learning so they can serve more students and make energy efficient improvements that will save money that can be put toward the classroom.
That’s why I propose an advanced technology and engineering campus as part of our redevelopment plans for Brunswick Naval Air Station.
The center will bring together the University of Maine and Southern Maine Community College in a joint venture that will support the economic development of the Midcoast while also training students for the good jobs of the future.
This collaboration between the university and community college should be a model for greater cooperation between our institutions of higher learning.
We need to break down the walls that separate the systems and instead build bridges for greater efficiencies.
There’s great potential for working together and saving money. And that means more resources for students and teachers.
Tonight as we examine the State of our State, I want to take a few moments to thank the men and women of the Maine National Guard, who every day make us proud, whether it’s serving in Iraq or Afghanistan or responding to an emergency right here at home.
Right now, we have 15 members of the Guard serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hundreds more preparing for deployment later this month and early next year.
All of these brave men and women are close to our hearts even when they are many miles from home.
We pray for their safety, and offer our sincere gratitude for their service.
In closing, I would like to return to Governor Brann, who served our State during the worst of economic times.
He said: “Maine women and Maine men have never faltered in the crisis. The ruggedness and stern grandeur of our land are reflected in the character of our people. The future of Maine has always been safe in the hands of its sons and daughters, and never more so than today.”
Now in 2009, we have within reach the power to shape our own future, to write the next chapter in this Great State’s story.
When our grandchildren and their children look back, I want them to see in us a generation that answered the call, that transformed Maine.
Our way forward is not just about energy. Or a cleaner environment, or even the jobs we’ll create today, although all those things are important.
What I’m talking about is a new economy, one that’s built to succeed in a rapidly changing world. But it’s an economy that will rely upon those same Maine traits that have served us so well: Honesty, Integrity, Quality, Pride and Workmanship. Maine Built is Best Built.
There’s a new era of opportunity and prosperity on the horizon. We will get there together.
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