Friday, February 8, 2013

State News Update

 The Maine Development Foundation and our partner, the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), are pleased to announce a new scholarship program for adult and non-traditional aged students, the Next Step Scholarship Fund.

 We are currently accepting applications for 15 to 17 available scholarships in 2013, with awards of $1,000 to $2,500.  These scholarships will be given to employees who are engaged in taking the next step in their education through pursuit of an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or an industry certification, and who are considered promising contributors to the companies or organizations for whom they work.  Scholarship applications must be submitted by employers, who can ‘nominate’ eligible employees.

MDF strongly believes in the importance of building the skills of our incumbent workforce.   We must maximize the value of non-traditional students of all kinds to bolster our workforce, and specifically reach out to the over 223,000 people in Maine who started college but did not complete a degree.  The Next Step Scholarship Fund does more than encourage non-traditional students and working adults to 'take their next step,' it provides them with a tool to help them succeed.   These scholarships will be awarded in partnership with the employers who are members of the Maine Employers' Initiative, and with our partners in SHRM chapters around the state.

 We invite you to nominate your employees for a scholarship today!

 Visit: to nominate one of your promising employees today using our simple online form.  Scholarship guidelines and other details are available on our website and are attached to this email.  The deadline to apply is March 22, 2013.
 We extend a special thank you to all of our scholarship fund supporters this year, including:  Bangor Savings Bank, Cianbro, Disability RMS, Pratt & Whitney, R.H. Reny’s Inc., Unum, WEX, Maine Community Foundation, and John T Gorman Foundation

Governor LePage Delivers State of the State

On February 6th, Governor LePage delivered his second State of the State address before a joint session of the Maine Senate and Maine House of Representatives. In his speech, Governor LePage emphasized the need for education reform, more affordable energy, and to pass his plan to retire Maine’s hospital debt.  You can read the prepared text of the Governor’s speech HERE .

Maine Capitol Connection Now Broadcasting

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network has begun airing the Maine Capitol Connection, a new television channel that provides coverage of Maine’s government. Programming on  the Maine Capitol Connection includes live coverage of legislative sessions, committee hearings, and other events such as press conferences. Special programs on Maine’s government will also be aired. The Maine Capitol Connection can be found on channel 171 in Cumberland and York Counties, and channel 181 in most of Maine.

If you have a digital television, you can find it by scanning for new channels – it’s "dot-4" grouped together now with regular MPBN Television and World Channels: 10.4 in Presque Isle and Augusta, 12.4 in Bangor, 13.4 in Calais, and 26.4 in Biddeford.
Maine Capitol Connection can also be viewed at the MPBN website . The website also has a schedule of upcoming programming.

Maine Open Checkbook Now Online

In order to increase the public’s access to information on how Mainers’ hard-earned tax dollars are spent, Governor LePage’s administration has created a new website: Maine Open Checkbook.

At the Maine Open Checkbook website individuals can search details of state spending, including vendor payments and employee compensation. Next year the state will expand the service to include revenue data and other details related to budget expenses. Future enhancements will include expanded graphs and reports. Details on vendor payments will be uploaded to the website every month and employee compensation, including salary information and benefits, will be updated on an annual basis.

State Park Campground Reservations System Now Open

As of Monday, Feb. 4, the reservations system is open for all state park campgrounds.
Campers have four ways to make reservations:
• Online at, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The online service allows the public to create or cancel a reservation at 12 different state parks and provides the ability for a user to reprint a campsite permit as needed.
• By calling in-state at 800-332-1501; or out-of-state at 207-624-9950 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on business days.)
• By mailing reservations to: Division of Parks and Public Lands, ATTN: Reservations, 22 SHS, Augusta, ME 04333. Mailed Sebago Lake reservation requests must not be postmarked before Feb. 1, 2013 or Feb 4 for all other parks.
• By dropping off completed reservation forms, which will be processed during business hours at the Augusta office.

Maine History Corner

At this time of year we are all familiar with the sight of ice, and many Mainers are enjoying such pastimes as ice skating and ice fishing. Ice has always been a part of Mainers’ lives, and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries it was an important industry in the state. In 1826, the industry began to take off when an ice house was built on the Kennebec River. Maine’s ice was known as the top-quality product nationwide at a time when iceboxes were becoming more popular in American homes. Maine’s ice industry flourished - even reaching a point during 1870-1890 where about 25,000 men were employed during the winter on the Kennebec Ice Fields. For more information, including photos of ice harvesting and of the tools used to harvest ice, click HERE .

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