Governor Paul LePage speaks at University of Maine during latest campaign stop

Maine Republican governor Paul LePage, who is currently campaigning for reelection, visited the University of Maine on Monday afternoon to speak about the difficulties Maine’s college graduates face in finding careers and what he intends to do to rectify the problem.

On the front steps of Fogler Library, LePage presented his plans for two programs that he hopes will encourage Maine college students to pursue jobs relevant to Maine’s economy, as well as to seek jobs within the state after graduation. His visit to the university is one many that LePage has planned as he seeks to bring awareness to the steps he is trying to make ahead of and after the November elections.

“[Students’] biggest concern is finding jobs after we graduate,” University of Maine Student Republicans member Lee Jackson said during his introduction of LePage. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and his name is Paul LePage.”

After speaking about some of LePage’s accomplishments over the course of his governorship, such as the creation of 20,000 private sector jobs over the last four years, LePage took the podium.

“The State of Maine is on the move.” LePage said, referring to the Maine’s ranking as 5th in the nation for growing wages and 4th in percent of working population.

The governor went on to cite high energy costs, high taxes and a low number of jobs available for graduates as the three primary problems he is trying to address.

To address the the last of these, LePage proposed two programs: a scholarship program for students pursuing a degree in a STEM-related field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and a tax break for state employers who hire and pay the loans for Maine graduates.

“A master’s [degree] in Sports Management is not nearly as important as a master’s in IT in Maine,” LePage said. “Not only are we not providing adequate jobs for kids coming out of college, but we’re taxing them.”

Although both of these programs are in their infancy, LePage hopes to implement the tax break program by Jan. 2015.

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Copyright 2018