This $49 million bond package – to be matched by at least $49 million in private and other public funds – will fund critically important investments that support our students’ success, prepare our graduates for great careers right here in Maine and assist Maine employers in filling critical jobs essential to growing their businesses and our state economy.
Maine’s economic success depends upon a skilled workforce – produced by Maine’s public universities like the University of Maine at Farmington.
In the last decade, the University of Maine System has awarded more than 56,000 degrees and most of our graduates – including many not originally from here – stay in Maine to live, work and contribute to our communities.
But with record low unemployment, an aging population and severe shortages expected in jobs requiring a four-year or advanced degree like teaching and nursing, the time to invest in Maine’s public universities is now.
$8.5 million of the bond will be invested directly in Franklin County to:
- Grow and strengthen Maine’s teacher workforce by increasing hands-on training and observation opportunities for future and in-service early childhood educators through the construction of a new, expanded University of Maine at Farmington Sweatt-Winter Child Care and Early Education Center.
- This expansion will specifically reduce the state’s serious shortage of Early Childhood Special Educators, and provide more qualified educators to support Maine’s growing pre-kindergarten programs.
- Improve University of Maine at Farmington student recruitment and retention by renovating UMF’s Olsen Student Center, the most heavily utilized public event space in western Maine, as well as through long overdue improvements to UMF’s residence halls and other classroom and learning spaces that support student success and serve the broader community like the UMF’s Mantor Library.
Maine relies on the $1.5 billion annual statewide economic impact of the University of Maine System – a $7.50 return for every State dollar.
For less than the cost of a new Maine high school, Question 4 will:
- Improve and expand classrooms and labs to provide modern education and training in sectors where Maine most needs workers.
- Increase recruitment, retention and graduates ready for good-paying Maine careers.
- Reduce operating and maintenance costs and the University’s footprint, consistent with a right-sizing commitment that has already produced $82 million in annual System savings.
- Bring more students, jobs, investments and opportunities to University campuses and Maine communities.
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For more information about Question 4 and its impact, visit:
Question 4: An Investment in Maine’s Future
University of Maine System
Director of Government & Community Relations