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Business needs stability, so Gov. Mills asks for 10-year economic plan

For many years, state economic plans have lasted only until the next election. Business leaders have said they need something longer term than that to provide more stability.

AUGUSTA, Maine — What should Maine’s economy look like ten years from now? Governor Janet Mills says she wants to find out -- so on Tuesday, she announced a team from government, business, non-profit, and education groups will create a 10-year economic strategy for Maine.

For many years, state economic plans have lasted only until the next election. Business leaders have said they need something longer term than that to provide more stability.

"If you’re in business, what you want more than anything else is predictability and stability," says Wick Johnson, president of Kennebec Technologies, a precision metal manufacturer. "(When) the world you live in changes dramatically every year and a half, there’s no sense of what’s coming. It makes it very difficult to plan."

Mills says Maine's economic development Commissioner Heather Johnson will lead the planning effort and involve a number of people inside and outside of the government. 

Gov. Mills says the state needs to take advantage of growth opportunities that will also help attract more young people to live and work here.

"Ten years ago, who would have thought Maine would be the craft brewery capital of the country? Who would think Portland would become the foodie center of the northeast? This doesn’t sound like economic development, but it is," the Governor told reporters.

Mills says the state needs a strategy that will look at the needs of the whole state and identify steps needed to keep and attract good jobs and employers for the long term.

And the Governor says she wants the plan on her desk before the end of the year.