Oct 18, 2023
Mills Administration Marks Two Years of Workforce and Economic Investments by the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan
Governor’s Jobs Plan has delivered $175 million in supports to Maine businesses, created workforce opportunities for 25,000 people, and invested in more than 400 infrastructure projects to support Maine families and communities since 2021
The Mills Administration today released a new report and online dashboard to mark two years of the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Governor Janet Mills’ plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people, support businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for prosperity.
Report CoverSince the Jobs Plan went into law on October 18, 2021, its initiatives have delivered $175 million to thousands of Maine businesses, created workforce opportunities for 25,000 people, and invested in more than 400 infrastructure projects statewide to bolster childcare, broadband, energy efficiency and weatherization, housing, and more.
To date, about 75 percent of Jobs Plan funding – nearly $743 million – has been spent or committed to deliver results on behalf of Maine people. All recovery funds must be spent, per Federal law, by December 31, 2026.
Under Governor Mills’ leadership, Maine’s gross domestic product is growing at the 11th best rate in the nation. The unemployment rate has dropped to a near record low of 2.5 percent, which is below both the New England and U.S. rates, with Maine’s total employment reaching a near record high of 646,800 filled jobs in August 2023, higher than the pre-pandemic average for calendar year 2019.
“Nearly four years ago, Maine and the world faced a once-in-a-generation pandemic that threatened lives and livelihoods of people across the globe. It was clear then that our state not only needed a strong public health response, but a deliberate plan to stabilize our economy and position our state for future prosperity,” said Governor Mills. “The Jobs Plan has helped strengthen our economy by making direct investments in the infrastructure that Maine people need to succeed, like housing and child care. While we have more work to do, Maine’s economy is stronger than it was before the pandemic and continuing to grow thanks to the Jobs Plan.”
Through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Maine put federal recovery funds from the Biden Administration and Congress to work faster than any other state in New England, and 21st nationally. The Jobs plan drew on recommendations from the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee and the State’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy (PDF), transforming these best-made plans into real action to improve the lives of Maine people and to strengthen the economy.
“Maine’s 10-Year Economic Development Strategy created a framework that encouraged collaboration by local communities, the private sector, and the State to target long-standing challenges in Maine’s economy,” said Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. “This foundation positioned Maine, through the Governor’s Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, to lead the country in deploying Federal funds to address immediate problems and systemic challenges.”
In 2022, Maine had the 11th highest net migration rate in the United States and the highest rate in New England. Maine was also one of only two states to see a decrease in median age from 2020-21, and one of only four states to not see an increase in the median age from 2021-2022.
Governor Mills and the Legislature have also built up the Budget Stabilization, or “Rainy Day” Fund to its statutory maximum of $968.3 million -- an increase of more than $758 million since Governor Mills took office in 2019 -- which, along with responsible budgeting and governing practices, has resulted in credit rating agencies such as Moody’s and S&P reaffirming the State’s strong creditworthiness and positive future outlooks.
In the coming weeks, Governor Mills will highlight investments from her Jobs Plan to create housing for Maine workers and families; improve the availability of child care, help Maine businesses expand to new markets, and help people find good-paying careers through apprenticeship opportunities with Maine employers.
The new online dashboard launched today includes a refreshed interface for users to search for Jobs Plan investments in Maine by category, community, or county. The dashboard is updated regularly as new data becomes available.
To view the dashboard, download the progress report, view programs, or sign up for updates about the Jobs Plan, please visit maine.gov/jobsplan.