AUGUSTA — The Central Maine Business Breakfast drew 32 people from across the region Wednesday to the Holocaust and Human Rights Center at the University of Maine at Augusta to talk about what it takes to build a strong regional economy.
Keith Luke, deputy director of development services for the city of Augusta; Heather Johnson, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development; and Yellow Light Breen, president and chief executive officer of the Maine Development Foundation, comprised the panel of experts.
Here are the highlights:
• “We have an overnight population of about 20,000 people,” Luke said. “Our daytime population is 60,000, maybe even more. So we as a city and as a region (need) to have an infrastructure available to serve that population, whether they are here as state employees, federal employees or if they are here for medical reasons or to visit the Marketplace or other lifestyle centers in Augusta. The opportunity we have as a hub for that brainpower that comes to Augusta every day is significant. Over the next 10 and 20 years, we’ll be working harder to keep more of those people in Augusta and central Maine overnight. We need to continue to bring people back, because the people who come back are the best and the brightest at what they do.”
• “Each area has different assets, …