The Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future (GOPIF) is developing a plan to create an Office of New Americans in Maine State Government, with the overarching goal of effectively incorporating immigrants into our workforce and communities to strengthen the economy.
About the Plan
On Aug. 3, 2023, Governor Janet Mills signed an Executive Order (PDF) directing her Administration to develop a plan to establish an Office of New Americans in Maine State government.
The Executive Order directs GOPIF to work with stakeholders – including other State agencies, municipalities, schools and colleges, employers, community-based organizations, and the immigrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking communities – to create a plan for the establishment of the new office to be delivered to the Governor by January 19, 2024.
With unemployment at record lows, and economic growth among the best in the nation, Maine faces a shortage of workers across regions, professions, and skill levels, especially in critical sectors such as health care, education, and construction. New Mainers are important to addressing this shortage of workers, and attracting new workers is a priority for Maine’s economic future, with the State’s 10-year Economic Strategy setting a target of attracting 75,000 new workers by 2029.Therefore,
The plan will outline the mission and structure of the office, the timing of its establishment, and the scope of its work, with the overarching goal of ensuring that Maine is effectively incorporating immigrants into its workforce and communities to strengthen the economy over the long-term.
Office of New Americans State Network
The Governor’s Executive Order also directs GOPIF to participate in the Office of New Americans State Network, a consortium of U.S. states with dedicated offices or staff for coordinating immigrant integration. The Network is coordinated by a partnership of two organizations, World Education Services and the American Immigration Council.
Through the Network, the State will access expertise, experiences, and best practices from states across the country on developing policy approaches to support the successful economic, social, and civic integration of immigrants. In other states, Network offices are broadly charged with offering guidance and assistance to state agencies, with focus on economic areas such as workforce training, licensing, language access, and legal supports.
Maine will become the 19th state in the Network, following North Dakota and Utah in 2023; Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Illinois in 2022; and Colorado, Oregon, and Minnesota in 2021. Other Network states include Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, California, Washington, Nevada, and Virginia.
The Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future (GOPIF) welcomes your participation and input in the development of a plan to create an Office of New Americans. Please contact us using the form below, and sign up for our email updates.