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By 2018, nearly 60 percent of jobs in Maine will require at least some amount of college education. Currently, just 39 percent of Maine adults hold degrees beyond a high school diploma.

Good morning. This is Governor Paul LePage.

If we can’t get more of our students to complete high school and earn degrees, we won’t have the workforce required to meet the needs of a 21st-century, technology-and knowledge-driven economy.

This weekend, I had the privilege to speak at commencement at my alma mater Husson University. More than 500 graduates received their degree. University of Maine and Maine Maritime Academy have also held commencement exercises for the class of 2011. Bates, Bowdoin and Colby Colleges will hold their graduations later this month.

This spring, thousands of graduates will have completed their education in Maine. The question is will they stay? One thing is certain. They won’t if they can’t find a job. I offer my congratulations to each and every graduate in our great State and I want to say that I want you to all stay.

Economic growth must be a priority for our state government. And I have made a pledge as Governor to help create more jobs, more jobs that will enable our young people to stay and call Maine home.

We won’t do it overnight, but we will work to get the job done.

I need to let you know we are making progress – more progress than some would have you believe – but we have lots more to do.

Right now, we are working to create jobs by making State government more business friendly.

This week a new business assistance hotline was set up within the Department of Environmental Protection. The hotline is part of the environmental department’s restructuring of its Office of Innovation and Assistance to better focus on establishing a stronger culture of cooperation between State government and job creators.

In order to become a more competitive State, I am also focused on lowering energy costs, reducing taxes and reforming health care. We have a quality of life that is second to none, but we must work on making Maine more business friendly.

We are working to create jobs and we are working to improve our economy. In short, we are working for prosperity. We are doing it for every young person who might view Maine as their life-long home.

We want our young people to find jobs here in Maine, we want them to find a future here in Maine, we want our future generation to see Maine as the job leader of tomorrow not as a State just focused on the past.

I wish every graduate of the Class of 2011 great success. You are the foundation of our future and Maine needs you to build a stronger, more successful State.

Thank you for listening and again congratulations to all our grads.

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