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Help Wanted: The Immigrant Opportunity


Given that Maine is racing into an economic crisis because it doesn’t have enough workers for its jobs, we decided to examine the role immigrants could have in helping to solve Maine’s serious workforce needs.

We moved away from the heated rhetoric that focuses on people who are in this country illegally and examined how immigrants who are cleared to work could help fill Maine’s employment gap.

To do this, we conducted more than 40 interviews and collected a lot of clarifying data. To navigate the labyrinth of immigration law, we talked with policy experts and public officials. We turned to Maine economists to help put the employment crisis in perspective. We spent time with immigrants and business owners discussing myriad barriers to employment. And we spoke to legislators about how the state could better support the entry of immigrants into the workforce.

Help Wanted: The Immigrant Opportunity is the culmination of that work.

Maine employers look to immigrants to fill severe gap

With long-term workforce challenges looming, many in Maine see legal immigration as the state’s best option for avoiding an economic crisis.

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Authors & Contributors

Gabe Souza

An Emmy Award-winning cinematographer and photographer, Gabe spent five years on staff at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has worked for a variety of editorial clients. Over the past 10 years, he has captured images in over 19 countries, spanning five continents. The first photographer to win the National Press Club Award, Gabe has a passion for telling compelling stories through images. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, and many more publications. Gabe co-owns a 1985 BMW 325 race car named “Wilhelm,” has a borderline unhealthy obsession with coffee, and is determined to watch a game in every Major League Baseball ballpark before the age of 30. He has 3 years and 16 ballparks to go.

Peter Weed

Peter Weed’s journalism career has included covering wine and crime for the Napa (Calif.) Register, serving as deputy sports editor for the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, and working as a sports editor and special sections editor for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. Along the way, he has seen grown journalists on deadline cry, upend desks and throw chairs into walls. He also taught for three years at the University of Missouri while pursuing graduate studies. Peter has done freelance work for clients ranging from multinational companies to local hunger-relief nonprofits and is the East Coast editor at large for MovieMaker Magazine, for which he has written about biker gangs, British gangsters, French criminals and other denizens of the film underworld.


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