Press Herald Interviews Belding About High-Skill Jobs in Maine

The Portland Press Herald spoke with John Belding, director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, for an article about a new report that says Maine is trailing the rest of New England in developing advanced manufacturing jobs, which require a higher set of skills and also pay better than traditional manufacturing. The report, prepared by the New England Council and Deloitte Consulting, states advanced manufacturing thrives where there are strong networks among businesses, which Belding calls a strength in Maine. He said students who take advantage of learning advanced manufacturing techniques often end up working for Maine companies such as General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Bath Iron Works. He said in January his phone “starts ringing off the hook” with companies looking for graduating engineering students who have a background in advanced manufacturing techniques. He said the students’ background at the university helps foster collaboration and gives Maine a small, but growing, cluster of advanced manufacturing workers.