Mobilize Maine is unlike any economic development initiative the State of Maine has ever seen. We believe that economic development is the responsibility of every citizen in Maine, that all of us have a stake in making sure we have a strong economy. We need to focus on creating more sustainable, higher wage jobs, bring millions of dollars in new capital into this state, and create economic strategies that are driven by regional private sector leaders in collaboration with the public sector. Help us Mobilize Maine.
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Recently, Mobilize Maine was recognized by the National Association of Development Organizations as worthy of highlighting the initiative as a national "best practices" model. A featured piece went to hundreds of development organizations across the United States. The piece highlights the regional MM efforts in Northern and Eastern Maine. With a staffing agency
Mobilize Maine was recently awarded a $575,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration. The EDA recognized the great strides that Maine has made implementing an economic development strategy that produce measurable results. This grant will enable all seven federally designated economic districts in Maine to be fully engaged in implementing Mobilize Maine asset-based strategies across the state.
Mobilize Maine is an advanced four-step systematic approach to economic development. It is unlike any other initiative before it, and has a proven track record in the regions of the state that have begun this work.
In the Foundation Phase, each region of the state produces very specific goals around a series of economic indicators, such as population, average wage, and labor force participation rate.
This Phase brings a deeper understanding of the regional economic climate of opportunity and challenges, and begins to inform a long-term strategy to move the region forward.
In the Discovery Phase, unique indigenous assets are identified and cataloged. The assets are identified through a series of regional forums where community business leaders and public officials are asked to provide input. Mobilize Maine asset mapping is more than an inventory and includes asking community leaders how assets can be leveraged, what the value is and what resources are missing to realize the leveraged opportunity.
The Connect Phase includes the asset prioritization process and a focus on an economic/industry cluster. Typically, the cluster that is focused on has a special characteristic to it that allows the region to leverage significant economic gain.
In addition, as opportunities are uncovered through each of the Phases, action teams are immediately formed to achieve both short and long term “wins” for the region.
The fourth milestone of Mobilize Maine is the Report Phase. In each of the regions, the leaders present the core strategy, regional economic goals, discoveries, priorities and recommendations moving toward an industry cluster opportunity analysis. The MM Report phase provides a clear and concise communication of strategic direction, progress made to date, public and private sector responsibilities and most importantly how to get involved.
Mobilize Maine is an action-oriented initiative that invites strong private sector participation, uses innovative, technology driven tools and processes and focuses on capitalizing on a region’s assets to deliver measurable results.
It does so with four game-changing tenets:
Within the next six months, all seven economic development districts, which cover the whole State of Maine, will be fully engaged, at various stages of the Mobilize Maine process. For the first time in this state, each region will have an action plan around a specific set of unique assets and goals identified by private business leaders that represent all sectors of the economy in partnership with the regional economic development organizations and practitioners.
While these regional plans are being developed a statewide leadership board is being developed to oversee the state economic strategy that will be matured and informed by the regional strategies. For the first time in Maine history, the state will have an economic strategy that all the regions are fully participating in and that all citizens will be able to recognize and articulate. Most importantly, this economic strategy will include a triple bottom line balanced approach that leverages unique regional assets, achieves accelerated economic growth by focusing on innovation driven business opportunities and leverages Maine’s Quality of Place.
Dana Connors, President, Maine State Chamber, says about the Mobilize Maine initiative:
“As President of the Maine State Chamber I have been involved in many, many economic development task forces and reports. Mobilize Maine offers a real way forward, engaging the private sector, embracing regional differences and ultimately creating, for the first time, a statewide economic strategy that we all can support.”
Maine private and public sector leaders recognized that the state had three fundamental problems that needed to be addressed. First, that the economic development delivery system that was in place was producing anemic results and needed to be realigned. Second, that top down approaches had failed to show measurable results and there needed to be a refocus on building capacity at a regional basis. Third, they needed to adopt an asset based, technology enabled, and innovation driven strategy to accelerate economic growth rather than the traditional needs based approach that had delivered such poor results for more than 30-years (50% below US GDP growth). Since its launch, MM has begun to address those challenges and is changing a culture of dependency to one of economic opportunity.
Mobilize Maine is an initiative that connects state economic development resources with the extensive community-based knowledge and service provided by the State of Maine’s six federally recognized Economic Development District (EDD) organizations.
Through the regional leadership of the seven Maine EDDs, regional Mobilize Maine projects are supported by the energy and resources of the communities within each region, including:
The funding strategy for Mobilize Maine is based on the belief that economic development is the job of every citizen and organization. All of us have a stake the economic health of our region and state. Mobilize Maine offers citizens an opportunity to have a strong voice in supporting and implementing the economic policies of the state over the next five years.
Our experience tells us that the state has become far too dependent on outside resources telling us what our priorities should be. Diversifying the funding base for MM will enable it to consistently implement a long-term strategy and withstand annual changes in priorities and funding from state or federal government. Maine citizens are investing and taking charge of their economic future.
We are requesting that your organization seriously consider making a three-year investment of time, talent and treasure to help Mobilize Maine reach its goal of transforming Maine’s regional economies.
Investors in MM will have the opportunity to achieve substantial short-term and long-term Return on Investment such as:
Each multi-year investor commitment in MM comes with a proviso that its annual investment is subject to MM meeting its annual goals as established by the regional and statewide Leadership Councils. This is a level of measurable accountability MM feels is critical to building and maintaining long-term confidence of its investors.
Join us in building a tomorrow worthy of this very special place we call home.
Click a link below for a presentation that further explains the commitment of time for Leadership Team participants: