It may be hard to believe, but this is the fifth year of the GSB Students Investigate collaboration between The Lincoln County News and Kelly Girard’s eighth grade language arts classes at Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta.
Similar to years past, the students kicked off their investigative journalism unit by learning about community journalism during classroom visits. Thankfully, we were able to return to in-person visits rather than using Zoom, as some jokes just don’t land as well with a buffering delay.
The students then wrote their own investigative articles, a collection of which are published below for the enjoyment of LCN readers. Beyond some small edits to bring the articles into Associated Press style, the articles are largely untouched to preserve the voice of the young journalists. As we’ve been doing this for half a decade, I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that the students turned in amazing, well-crafted articles. Those familiar with the project may even recognize a few names of interviewees.
As always, I want to thank Girard for continuing this project and her students for their interest, their excellent questions, and the creative thank you cards.
Engaging the next generation of readers is a major focus of The Lincoln County News. If there are any other teachers out there who would like to arrange a field trip to the newspaper or have someone from the LCN come speak to your class, give us a call at 563-3171 or email email@example.com and we’ll do our best to accommodate the request.
How has the shortage of affordable housing made it challenging for immigrants to settle in Maine?
By Nathaniel Hufnagel
The number of immigrants in Maine has increased significantly in recent years at a time when access to housing is hard to come by. Affordable housing development has become more and more important as people arriving in the state struggle to find safe and warm places to live.
In an editorial titled “With Housing Shortage New Mainers Run Into Old Problem,” the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald wrote “…the state needs about 20,000 affordable, safe and accessible housing units to stem the shortage.”
People coming to Maine from other countries often come because of violence in their home countries or natural disasters. This will most likely continue causing people to immigrate to Maine and the rest of the U.S. If we continue to have a housing shortage in Maine, immigrants will have a hard time finding a place to settle.
Liza Fleming-Ives, executive director of the Genesis Community Loan Fund, a community development financial institution certified by the U.S. treasury, said, “Many groups are prepared to welcome immigrants in Maine but the lack of affordable housing has created challenges to finding permanent homes for arriving families.”
Fleming-Ives spoke about what the organization does, saying, “The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that helps communities bring together resources to build and preserve affordable housing.”
According to the Portland Press Herald, the lack of affordable housing in major cities like Portland has become a growing concern. Home prices in the state of Maine are extremely high and because of this affordable housing is difficult to access. According to the Bangor Daily News, the median home price in Maine has risen 17% since 2020 to the price of $320,000.
Information from the Maine Realtors Association shows that Lincoln County specifically has seen a 28% increase in housing prices which is more than most of its neighboring counties.
Immigrants are coming to Maine during a time when Maine is facing a shortage of workers. The Portland Press Herald editorial board said, “People can’t work if they can’t find safe, affordable housing near a job that is the right fit for their skills, experience, and home life.” If immigrants could find stable housing, they would help boost the economy and fill labor shortages, but without housing, they are not able to settle in communities.
According to Bangor Daily News, Maine’s job shortage has worsened during the pandemic which is another issue businesses face during the pandemic. One thing that has contributed to the labor shortage is housing instability for laborers. With stable housing, workers would be able to have a steady rent and housing location.
Gov. Janet Mills has promised to use $50 million dollars of federal relief funds to address the shortage of housing. This won’t solve the problem but it will help and it will hopefully encourage other legislation.
This shortage is a problem for our community, our state and our country so addressing it is very important. Fleming-Ives says that residents of Lincoln County could work to address the issue by being supportive of organizations trying to address the shortage and providing services for people in need of affordable housing.
What is it like to be a high school student during a pandemic?
By Juniper Jacobs
Life changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shops closed, people were stuck inside, medical masks were worn, and school was conducted virtually. This change has played a big part in people’s lives, including teenagers. Over the past few years, high school students have struggled with virtual school, mental health, and isolation from friends and family.
A study performed by The Bloomberg School Of Public Health surveyed about 300 students and asked how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their stress, mental health, sleep problems, and disordered eating habits. Over 50% of the students sampled said that the pandemic has affected their health in negative ways and 17% to 19% stated a big increase in depression and worsening mental health.
“Seasonal depression is already something many people experience during the winter due to the lack of daylight and brutal weather,” said Lincoln Academy junior Iris Pope. “The realities of winter were certainly worsened by not being able to see family and friends and spend holidays together, or even just go inside each other’s houses.”
The winter months were especially hard because in Maine, the cold weather made it so teens could not meet with their friends outside and this caused many issues for high school students.
“It was hard because it was so cold out and we had a more challenging time interacting with people because of the limit the weather imposed,” Pope said.
Aiden Jacobs, a junior at Lincoln Academy, agreed, adding, “Living in Maine increased the feeling of isolation because everything is so far away. This made it difficult to connect with people in person.”
Most people in Maine do not live in the city where stores are close, and this makes it hard for people to get from place to place. Most students under the age of 16 had a difficult time getting to places like the gym, stores, or their friends’ houses, and this caused problems for many teens.
At Lincoln Academy, the struggles for students worsened because of separation from friends through the hybrid school-week system.
“(In 2020,) Lincoln was split alphabetically by last name and was twice a week in-person,” Pope said. “I went for months on end with seeing my friends solely through the computer screen and having to constantly adjust to my classmates and teachers bouncing in and out of quarantine.”
Building strong relationships is extremely important for high school students and due to COVID-19, many teens have had a harder time maintaining connections with friends and teachers.
Things have changed since last year.
“Being able to see my friends every day and connect with people inside, in person, makes things much more manageable,” Jacobs said.
Even though the pandemic is still prominent, the joy of seeing friends and being able to connect with teachers has helped many teens get through the year.
Another solution to those who can’t pay their energy costs
By Alva Gandler
It’s now December, and the temperatures are plummeting. Winter is just about here, and some people are beginning to worry about their heating costs for the winter. For over 15 years, the Community Energy Fund of Lincoln County has been helping those in need all over Lincoln County cover their heating costs.
The Community Energy Fund is a nonprofit organization that uses donations to help people pay for energy costs to keep them warm during the harsh winters of Maine.
The Community Energy Fund is the result of a conversation between friends one evening at dinner. They talked about people they knew who had trouble with their winter heating costs, and how it was becoming a big problem. They decided that they wanted to do something about it.
Since 2005, the Community Energy Fund has helped over 4,000 families reach their needs for the winters. This adds up to almost $2 million donated in total and continues to grow.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many people not earning as much money.
“COVID impacted us last year with people out of work,” said Todd Maurer, one of the founders of the Community Energy Fund. “Luckily, it was a warm-ish winter and energy costs stayed relatively low.”
While more people than usual needed assistance paying for their energy, energy costs were low, and less had to be spent per person.
This year, however, rising heating oil prices have been a rapidly growing concern. This, along with a continuing lack of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could cause a busy winter for the Community Energy Fund, depending on how the temperatures play out.
According to maine.gov/energy/heating-fuel-prices, after going down for over five years, heating oil prices are on the rise again. Between 2015 and 2020, the average heating oil price in November was $2.34. This past November, the monthly average price was $3.16. This is a huge spike that can’t go under the radar.
Kerosene and propane prices are following roughly the same principle as heating oil. All three energy sources dipped down in price once quarantine began in the early months of 2020. However, propane prices were not affected by the pandemic as much as kerosene and heating oil.
“This is a major concern for this heating season (referring to the cost of energy). Energy costs – oil, propane, and electricity – have increased significantly and if we have a cold winter we anticipate a greater than normal need,” Maurer said.
Just helping people pay for their energy isn’t the only thing that the fund offers, though. In 2019, a new program was started to help people who have old, run-down heating systems. The program replaces old parts of heating systems, or if necessary, the entire system.
Those who do the physical work of the fund are volunteers and are not paid. The volunteers generally come from Colby & Gale Inc., which makes sense because one of the co-founders of the Community Energy Fund, Robert Clifford, comes from Colby & Gale.
Another program that the Community Energy Fund has is the Adopt Me program. This program allows for donors to choose an individual or a specific family for funds to go to.
What the Community Energy Fund does has already helped several thousand families, and it isn’t going to stop here.
“I believe that we have fulfilled a real need to help the members of our community that may not want to ask for help or have exhausted all other avenues for help,” Maurer said. “We are very proud of the number of families we have helped over the years and that we are able to provide this assistance, with the help of community members, without any administrative costs.”
For the Community Energy Fund to properly function, it needs donations from the community. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 40, Bristol, ME 04543, which is where the Community Energy Fund will receive the donation and use it accordingly.
How has teaching and learning changed due to the pandemic?
By Margaret Thompson
Teaching and learning changed overnight for Lincoln County schools. In March of 2020 COVID-19 was declared an official pandemic. For three months, teachers had to instruct students online remotely.
Then, in September 2020, when school resumed in person, the hard work for teachers was just beginning. Educators had to quickly come up with a way to keep students engaged while making it as easy as possible to learn in a different environment. How was this done? Well, after interviewing Donna Footer, a second grade teacher at Wiscasset Elementary School, and Boothbay Region High School science teacher Lauren Graham, the changes are now more clear.
After being in online school for part of the pandemic, and now being able to learn in person, while still staying safe from the virus, teachers and learners managed to make it work. One problem that occurred was that students struggled with hearing teachers because of the masks that tone down voices. According to teachlogic.com, teachers should use amplifiers to allow students to hear what they are saying in a much more effective way.
“My voice is definitely struggling to present in a clear manner with a mask on,” Footer said. “So, if I use an amplifier, which is basically this heavy piece of equipment hanging from my neck, that does help them to hear.”
Another way that teachers adapted was by setting up stations for students to use while being spaced out and making sure not to share the equipment. Graham is one of the teachers that has been doing this and is currently doing it for a lab science class.
“In terms of my lessons, I teach lab sciences, which has been difficult,” Graham said. “It takes a lot more prep time to set up a lab because they have to be individualized where we used to have partners working together, and that takes a lot of time and a lot more materials and resources.”
Despite the challenges, such as staying 6 feet away from good friends, staying sanitized, and having to wear a mask for the entire day, Graham is confident students are learning.
“They are able to with some accommodations on my end,” Graham said. “I have no doubt that we’ll get through the things we need to get through, especially at the college prep chemistry level. I know I can get them the materials they need and the experiences they need to be ready for a college course. It just looks a little different. As a teacher I have to be more flexible about how I do things, and I am okay with that.”
Tessa McNamara, a freshman at Lincoln Academy and a former student of Great Salt Bay Community School, was asked to think about learning before the pandemic compared to once it happened, and what was different as a student.
“Everyone had to grow up,” she said. “They had so much more responsibility.”
McNamara also later talked about how teachers have been very stressed, adding, “Teachers deserve a lot more credit.”
Students and teachers also learned that it is good to check up with one another regarding mental health. According to yalemedicine.org, mental health needs to be taken care of a lot more during COVID-19.
Overall, so many things have changed throughout the pandemic globally. Despite these changes, however, Footer said, “The kids are still kids and they are going to get through this.”
Students are very lucky to have great, hardworking, and caring teachers that work every day to make sure students receive a good education and are being taken care of.
What effect does school have on the mental health of junior high students?
By Helen Duffy
Throughout our time at school, we have been told that our mental health is important and that the school has a lot of resources to help us if we are struggling with our mental health. But how many people in junior high actually have trouble with their mental health?
According to a survey sent to seventh and eighth grade students at Great Salt Bay Community School, of the 53 responses, 49.1% said that they have felt depressed or sad in the last three months and 24.5% said that they might have been depressed in the last three months. That means that 73.6% of students, almost three in four, have struggled with sadness and depression recently.
Recently, the U.S. has declared the mental health of children a crisis. According to an article by MindShift, an online education journal, nationally, emergency room visits for suspected suicide in girls ages 12 to 17 was 51% from 2019. Also, since 2020, ER visits for mental health emergencies are up 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% in teens ages 12 to 17.
Schoolwork is a large cause of stress and depression in teens. Approximately 67.9% of the people who responded to the survey sent to GSB students said that they feel extra anxiety around schoolwork, and 56.6% said that they do feel overwhelmed by school work. In response to the question “has school negatively affected your mental health?” 41.5% said yes and 30.2% said maybe.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the stress on teens. According to a survey done by the World Health Organization in the summer of 2020, “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide while the demand for mental health is increasing.”
The mental health of teens has worsened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to the fact that many teens have been very isolated from other teens in a very crucial part of their lives. Also in this same article, WHO stated, “Around three-quarters reported at least partial disruptions to school and workplace mental health services (78% and 75% respectively).”
In an anonymous open-response section on the survey given to GSB seventh and eighth grade students, a student said “At times it seems like the teachers don’t care all that much about how school affects our mental health … I just believe that our mental health is not being taken into consideration enough. Instead it is seen as a unit in a health/guidance class that really does not help that many kids.”
Teen mental health is also affected by peer pressure, parental pressure, and home life, which many students feel that teachers don’t take into consideration when talking about mental health. Another student said, “Being in a pandemic has also created a harsh and unsafe feeling during our day-to-day lives, this has also added to stress. They give us all this work without realizing how much it affects us … As someone who suffers from anxiety, school is a huge contributor to that feeling of stress. I wish teachers could realize the inner battles that students face every day.”
Margaret Thompson, an eighth grader at GSB, in response to the question, “What do you think of the school’s response to mental health issues in students?” said, “They talk about it in health and guidance, but it is always the same.” Many other students that were interviewed felt the same way.
The mental health of teens is talked about but is not usually acted upon until too late. Many of the mental health services throughout the world have been put on pause due to the pandemic. Many teens hide their mental health issues and most of them have some kind of sadness and depression that has worsened due to COVID-19. GSB students are struggling with their mental health even though very few tell anyone and struggle in silence.
Over the net: GSB volleyball intramural
By O’Doshie Davis
Recently, Great Salt Bay has started its first volleyball intramural for seventh and eighth grade students.
“When I’m there with the kids and they’re all playing and having fun, it just transports me to a state of bliss,” said supervisor and grade 5-8 physical education teacher Amanda Brewer. “Just being there and being into it and spending time with the kids after school really makes me the happiest.”
There are six positions in volleyball; the setter, the outside hitter, the opposite hitter, the middle blocker, the libero, and the defensive specialist, according to hoovermetcomplex.com. Each one is an important part of the team. Usually, there are about ten people at practice, so the players take on more than one role in the game. The intramural practices at the Central Lincoln County YMCA from 3 to 4:30 p.m. after school.
“We did some activities in PE class where we were volleying a really big Omnikin ball and some of the students really liked it, especially Sarah Prior, and she emailed me saying that some of the kids really liked the activities and would really like volleyball,” Brewer said.
Prior’s life is positively affected by Great Salt Bay’s volleyball intramural. “It makes me genuinely happy to have a team even though it’s not competitive. It warms my heart to be on a team new to the school. It’s unique,” she said.
Volleyball is great for both students’ mental health and physical health as well. “Volleyball is extremely fast-paced and requires serious athletic ability,” according to the Hoover Met Complex.
According to Kathryn Rateliff Barr at docsbay.net, “Your involvement in volleyball can improve your mood, reduce stress and encourage pride in your accomplishments as a team member. The activity can also improve your self-confidence, self-esteem, your body image, and make you feel happier about life in general.”
Volleyball is great for making connections, learning teamwork, and practicing integrity. A lot of people become friends with their teammates outside of practice time. Players learn to communicate with each other.
“My favorite thing is like whenever we start the practice we get to pick a partner to spike with. That was fun and it counted as a bonding experience that warm up because you had to talk to each other,” Owen Card, another member of the Great Salt Bay volleyball intramural said. Ethan Hodgdon said that the volleyball intramural makes his life more fun.
There are even more skills players in volleyball use that can be used in a school environment at school, such as communication skills.
“My setter Amelia needed help spiking and asked how high I wanted the volleyball to go.” Card said.
The volleyball intramural at Great Salt Bay Community School is a wonderful addition to after-school activities.
Young kids inspired
By Amelia Starbird
Have you ever wondered what life would be like without teachers? It would be pretty bad. No one would know anything about anything, and would not be able to perform certain jobs as well as they could if they were educated.
At Great Salt Bay Community School we have some great teachers, and the students here are very grateful for them. They have inspired so many of us to follow in their footsteps. However, all schools in Lincoln County have great teachers and they are all appreciated.
In a survey sent to fifth through eighth grade students at Great Salt Bay school, of all of the jobs out there, 45.5% of 55 kids have thought about being teachers. Could this be because of the great teachers at the school, or is there some other reason? The survey suggested it was a little bit of both.
Kate Stringer, in the article “New Poll: For First Time Ever, a Majority of American Parents Do Not Want Their Children to Become Public School Teachers,” said 54% of parents in the U.S. don’t want their children to be teachers, but 61% support and trust the teachers. The main reason parents don’t want their children to be teachers is because of the low pay and the bad behavior of students. Sixty-six percent of Americans think that teachers need to be paid for, and 73% would support teachers if they went on strike for higher pay.
In an interview with Margaret Sawyer, an eighth grader at GSB, she said that she has wanted to be a teacher since she was 7-8 years old.
“I love working with little kids and I like to teach them things that I know and they don’t,” she said. “My mom inspired me to want to teach because she is a high school teacher, she used to let me help grade tests … I’ve always wanted to be like my mother and teach kids.”
Sawyer switched to Great Salt Bay School in fifth grade and she loves it. Her favorite teacher that she has ever had was her kindergarten teacher at Dresden Elementary School, Ms. Stover.
Bailey Brewer, another eighth grader, was on the other side of the argument, she said that she has never wanted to be a teacher because she babysits her siblings and doesn’t enjoy it.
“I have three younger siblings and I tend to watch them every day,” said Brewer. She said that this is why she doesn’t want to teach, it’s just not for her.
The difference between Sawyer and Brewer is how they grew up. Sawyer grew up watching her mother teach and admiring her, while Brewer grew up watching her siblings and working for her mother. Sawyer might change her mind as she gets older but for now she is inspired by all of her teachers and her mother. Brewer hopes to grow up and take over her mother’s business in wedding planning; it is interesting that they are both inspired by their mothers.
In conclusion, teaching is a great profession, it is respected and supported, however, the pay isn’t great. Here in Lincoln County, teachers are amazing.
The impact of Bath Iron Works on the Maine economy and its role in providing local advanced employment options
By Benjamin Gilbert
Bath Iron Works, located in Bath, is the state’s largest Maine-based private business. It is a private company that competes with other shipyards to get contracts with the U.S. Navy to build warships. It employs over 6,000 local workers. That is a shocking 1% of all workers in the state of Maine. One percent might not sound like a lot, but it definitely is. Currently, working people in the state of Maine number around 646,400. You may very well know someone who currently works at Bath Iron Works, or at the very least used to work there. Bath Iron Works definitely plays a big role in the Maine economy, and numbers and percentages are great, but what exactly is behind them.
Bath Iron Works no doubt provides many advanced jobs that would otherwise not be available in Maine. Although Bath Iron Works is outside Lincoln County, people all across the state commute to Bath so they can work there. According to a survey sent out to all seventh and eighth grade students at Great Salt Bay Community School, about 50% of students know someone who works at Bath Iron Works. When asked what town the people they knew who worked at Bath Iron Works lived in, all responses were towns in Lincoln County. Because Bath Iron Works is such a large employer, it has very wide-reaching effects, even across the whole state, economically speaking.
In an interview with a fellow eighth grade student Alden Reinhart, who has a close family friend who works for Bath Iron Works, he also raised this idea. In the interview, Alden said “I think that BIW (Bath Iron Works) gives a great opportunity for Maine workers … It allows them to work with complicated machinery and technology that you would otherwise have to go out of state for. That’s also good for Maine because it keeps those advanced workers in the state.”
This makes sense because the U.S.S. Zumwalt, U.S.S. Michael Monsoor, and U.S.S. Lyndon B. Johnson, are the most technologically advanced warships in existence and were all built and commissioned at Bath Iron Works. (The U.S.S. Lyndon B. Johnson is still in sea trials.) This is just about the only way for Maine workers to have access to such advanced job opportunities, and be able to work with such advanced technologies. That interview was actually the basis for this article.
In concussion, it is clear that Bath Iron Works is a vital contributor to the Maine economy and a great opportunity for Maine workers, who would have to find work elsewhere without it. Despite being outside Lincoln County, many people who live here work at Bath Iron Works. They have weathered COVID-19 better than many employers too, with many workers working either outside or in large open buildings. Bath Iron Works has a goal of hiring 2,500 workers this year, and they are close to that goal. Many workers from Bath Iron Works went on strike recently in opposition to a proposed contract but they voted to return and are now back to building warships.
The Phoenix program
By Matilda Marks
Art is an important part of life, helping the mind develop and grow as well as bringing happiness to the students of Great Salt Bay Community School. The gifted and talented program in the arts gives specific students more opportunities to further develop their individual artistic interests.
According to the Department Of Education, “As part of the establishment of gifted and talented programs, opportunities must be provided for students with exceptional abilities in the visual and performing arts.”
The Phoenix Program at GSB is a gifted and talented program for the arts. Whereas the more common GT programs are in academics, for example math, reading, and writing, for the students who wish to pursue a creative future, as a musician, an actor, or an artist, for example, the GT arts program will help support those goals. According to Neil Swapp, author of “Creativity and Academics: The Power of an Arts Education,” “Through the arts, students develop skills like resilience, grit, and a growth mindset to help them master their craft, do well academically, and succeed in life after high school.”
Kellie Peters, the gifted and talented coordinator at Great Salt Bay School, said, “Art programs are a huge thing that schools are overlooking because people aren’t just talented or gifted in math, science, or reading. It would be fantastic if a student were to become the next Picasso or Beethoven, anything really. I mean a student could be really talented in just public speaking, and it would be great if those students could be offered a communications extension class.”
Providing students extra opportunities to develop in the creative areas of focus will help the student realize their potential and possibly lead to a successful career in the arts.
Gifted and talented programs are not mandated, however, but were created to meet the needs of students who excel in particular areas of focus.
The Great Salt Bay Phoenix program is also dependent on the community, Peters said.
“We get a lot of visiting artists and volunteers, from the community, who help demonstrate their process, inspiration, as well as share images of their work and their own personal artistic journeys,” Peters said. “Unfortunately, COVID really changes everything, making it harder to get any new volunteers because of all the safety prosecutions.”
The Phoenix art program is a relatively new extracurricular at GSB and will hopefully flourish in the years to come as it is intended to be a long-lasting project that will affect many students in a positive way. Gifted and Talented in the arts supports the pursuit of creative learning, helping students achieve greater success and hopeful opportunities for their future.
The continuing labor shortage in Maine
By Adrian Quinn
With the ongoing labor shortage in America there are many businesses looking for workers. This labor shortage is happening all over America, including Maine, but more in Maine than in other states. This labor shortage has been affecting a lot of businesses. This has been happening for more than a year. This will happen if there are a lot of jobs hiring but there are fewer people looking for a job.
A reason for this is unemployment benefits. Earlier this year President Biden implemented a $400 weekly boost for unemployed citizens. This can make being unemployed much easier.
“There are so many jobs but not enough people looking for a job since after COVID started,” says Maine resident Rob, who recently just retired.
Maine resident Letty has recently been hired for a job at a hospital in Damariscotta. “Because of the labor shortage it was easier finding a job and I had way more choices. We have a lot of open spaces for workers, much more than a few years ago,” they said.
Most businesses in Maine are hiring now and businesses are competing with more flexible hours because that’s what a lot of people are looking for now. Most businesses in Maine used to have nonnegotiable hours but now they are having more flexible hours. A recent study from ManpowerGroup revealed that nearly 40% of job candidates worldwide said schedule flexibility is one of their top three factors in career decisions. Businesses don’t want to give flexible hours but with the labor shortage, it may be necessary.
The state minimum wage rose from $11 to $12 in 2020. In 2021 it increased to $12.15. In 2022 it will increase to $12.75. A big reason why there may be fewer people looking for jobs in Maine is because of Maine’s population. “Maine’s relatively stagnant population is also a continuing problem for many employers. Reports from business groups and state agencies have long warned that Maine’s population is not growing fast enough to keep up with job openings.” (“What Maine can do to solve its worker shortage”)
Not only how many people live in Maine but who lives in Maine matters too. Maine has the highest median age out of all the states. “This gap is widened as Maine’s population ages and people leave the workforce.” (“What Maine can do to solve its worker shortage?”) The next five years the population will increase an estimated 1%.
Maine’s main working population is 20 years old to 65 years old. This will be projected to decrease 7.8% from 2018 to 2028 (“Maine Population Outlook 2018 to 2028”). Maine’s labor shortage may not improve very much in the future and this will be a problem for businesses.
When there is an issue like this in Maine, it is good for there to be a projected increase in improvement but there isn’t much improvement seen. In the future, this may be a bigger problem for Maine.