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Meeting Roundup: July 2012

Governor’s Workshop on Job Creation June 13, Brunswick – Governor Paul LePage and several of his key staff and state agency Commissioners met with business leaders in the areas of fishing, marine resource industries and coastal tourism in a working session on how to improve Maine’s economy. Participants were asked to discuss their experiences and challenges regarding job creation in Maine. Following a keynote address by Governor LePage, participants broke out in to smaller groups to discuss regulatory reform, workforce issues and marketing “The Maine Brand”. The regulatory reform sessions were lead by the Governor’s Senior Policy Advisor, Carlisle McLean, and the Commissioners of Environmental Protection and Marine Resources. The sessions on workforce development were hosted by the Commissioner of Labor, and the Governor and his Senior Economic Policy Advisor, John Butera, hosted the sessions on marketing “The Maine Brand”. The administration outlined the progress that has been made to streamline regulation to create a more business friendly climate and participants identified a series of frustrations and areas for improvement. Governor LePage referred to this Workshop on Jobs Creation as a first step of many in reaching out directly to Maine’s business community to get business owners and operators at the table to talk about job creation in Maine. The Governor continues to welcome suggestions, concerns or comments. He reiterated that Maine is “Open for Business,” and the administration remains available, willing, and ready to help.

MLA Directors’ meeting June 5, Belfast – The MLA board of directors met to hear the presentation by John Sauve, president of The Food and Wellness Group, on Project Maine Lobster, an initiative of the Lobster Advisory Council to improve the price paid to Maine lobstermen for their catch. Amy Lent, director of the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, and Bill Brennan, president of the Maine Maritime Academy, also attended. Sauve spoke at length about the need to improve demand for Maine lobster in order to boost the price. Absent a sudden drop in the harvest, only by increasing consumers’ demand for our lobster will the price move up. Project Maine Lobster is designed to increase generic demand specifically for Maine Lobster through a three-year strategic marketing plan. Sauve explained that marketing is different than selling a product, why there is such a need for branding Maine lobster to differentiate it in the marketplace, and how specific marketing messages could be developed. The Directors discussed Project Maine Lobster and its possible effect on the boat price. The next MLA board of directors’ meeting will be on July 10 and will focus on a revised membership dues structure to ensure that MLA can meet an operating budget which will enable the MLA to effectively advocate for Maine lobstermen.

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