Kennebec Valley Chamber

Serving the Kennebec Valley, Maine Region

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Friday Report ~ May 6, 2016

"Diamond in the Rough" - Spring is here, and flea markets and garage sales are beginning to pop up all over this great state. I love going to these things. I'm not sure the people who run them are happy to see me, as I rarely buy anything. I go because I love hunting for the treasure that other people have overlooked. Finding that one or two items that for some reason ring important to me or seem significant. When I do bring things home from this type of event, it's often met with a sideways glance from my family as they don't see the significance of the item I've recently purchased.  The true beauty of the flea market, is that it is full of items you didn't know were there. Items that are incredibly valuable but simply not noticed before.

Over the past year, I have attended the most fantastic flea market ever, Leadership Maine. Leadership Maine is a leadership course that is presented by the Maine Development Foundation. This course takes 40 leaders from around the state and brings us together once a month for eight months to visit different parts of this amazing state. During this class, we have visited a seafood processing plant, Native American reservation, a Paper mill, the Statehouse, and so many other businesses that it is impossible to list them all here. I compare this class to a flea market, because these companies and organizations have been here. Right here in the state of Maine. For quite some time. I just never knew it.
Finding these treasures has been an incredible experience and has filled me with hope for the future of our state. Each of these businesses chooses to do business here. The reasons are varied, whether it's the availability of resources, the quality of the workforce, or even the quality of life that exists here, they are choosing to do work in Maine.
As a member of Leadership Maine, we are required to be part of a team that takes on a team project. My team was challenged with looking at a previous project that addressed and combatted the "brain drain." This is the theory that young talent is leaving Maine at an alarming rate. It didn't take long for our team to conclude that our state simply has an internal marketing challenge.  The overlap of our visits to unique companies and the fact that we, as leaders in the state, were not aware these companies existed was not lost on us. We felt that if everyone could have the same experience we were having, no one would ever leave Maine. That being said, we set out to create a website that promotes the benefits of living and working in Maine.
To make a long story short, (I know, unusual for me) we came across the solution in the form of an existing website and it simply needs our help. Live + Work in Maine () is a website created by Leadership Maine Alumnus Ed McKearsie and is beautifully designed. It highlights the eight identifiable regions in our state and it is searchable by career or by lifestyle. It is here to promote the reality that Maine is much more than just a great place to visit. 
How does this website benefit you? I'm glad you asked! There is no charge for you to create an employer profile on his site. This allows job seekers to learn about your business and also learn about the Kennebec Valley at the same time. It markets the job opportunities and the region together. This website is receiving substantial promotion and really getting some traction. It would be great if every employer in the Kennebec Valley who is struggling to find quality workers created a profile on this site. Additionally, Ed has posted our Success Starts Here video on the Kennebec Valley regional page to help promote our region.
Let's face it, promoting our region, and our state is a monumental task, but it's made easier through collaboration and joint projects like this one. Please sign up and help us connect talent with job opportunities. As always, if you need help from us, just ask.