Maine trade group director goes to the White House

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Maine Marine Trades Association executive director Susan Swanton was scheduled to be at the White House today for an event to discuss President Obama’s effort to get companies and industries to hire more long-term unemployed workers.

In an interview with the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, Swanton said, “When you say ‘long-term unemployed’ to a business person, they often think of the chronically unemployed, but the president is talking about those people who have always worked and because the economy went bad, they’re still out of work. These are people who have some skills, but maybe they don’t have the right skills for a different part of the work force. So it’s an effort to get our heads together and get those people back in the work force.”

Swanton said many marine industry jobs are “middle-skilled jobs — jobs that require something more than a high school diploma and less than a four-year degree. The president, I think, has recognized that these jobs are important to individuals and the companies they work for, and important to our economy.”

Sector partnerships will be one of the strategies featured at the event as a tool to help the long-term unemployed retrain for new well-paying and family-supporting careers. The business-led partnerships bring together multiple firms within the same industry, along with local post-secondary educational institutions, training providers, trades associations, and work force investment boards.

Employers work together to define common skill standards, and then partner organizations align publicly funded training and support services to prepare people for those jobs.

The Maine marine trade group was part of a successful industry-led partnership known as Maine’s North Star Alliance, which served nearly 200 companies and 2,000 incumbent, new hire, and dislocated workers.

Swanton was called to the White House to share her organization’s successes in building such a partnership to employ local residents in the marine trades industry.


4 comments on “Maine trade group director goes to the White House

  1. Jeff Erdmann

    It’s terrific Ms. Swanton has an opportunity to share the importance of the recreational marine for American workers & the US economy with the administration!
    The Florida Yacht Brokers Association – FYBA has a simple no cost solution to increase jobs & the economic impact of the recreational marine industry in America.
    Allow duty to be deferred to post sale (like sales tax)for used foreign flagged boats that want to be offered for sale to US residents.

  2. Lawrence Warner

    Most yards are very understanding of the economy. If they make money they stay in business. If expenses negate the hiring then you better come up with some incentives, otherwise status quo for most.

  3. Bryon Kass

    Does anyone trust this POTUS to do anything he says? I don’t. Who thinks he wants us to hire anyone? The Obamacare mess is about to body slam business this year with mandates fines and regulations. Fuel is not going to get any cheaper and we can anticipate more EPA regulations on our energy sources. I hope she asks him about Keystone and why he is pandering to the tree huggers who are not the friend of the marine industry.

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