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The Need – Two Components

Boots 2 Roots

Team members showcased Boots2Roots at the November 2016 Eggs & Issues Breakfast Community Corner hosted by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Boots2Roots helps address two important needs: the needs of transitioning military members and the needs of Maine communities.

Needs of Transitioning Military Members

Helping new or returning Mainers find timely employment as part an effective transition from military service is key to their economic and social well-being.  Yet, according to a 2015 Veteran Economic Opportunity Report published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Maine veterans are using unemployment benefits longer than veterans in any other state.   This clearly implies that it takes longer for veterans to find good and decent paying jobs in Maine.

Further, a 2014 report from the RAND Corporation on veteran unemployment noted that programs and policies are needed to facilitate more efficient job search.

Finally, a May 2015 report from the Maine Center for Economic Policy stated that there is no one-stop shop for connecting veterans to their new communities.

These findings highlight why it’s important for veterans to start early in planning and executing their transitions.  And that’s why Boots2Roots connects with transitioning military members while they’re still on active duty.  Our proactive and personal approach also helps veterans connect with their communities.

Needs of Our Maine Communities

Part of the Boots2Roots Mission stresses “strengthening Maine communities,” and the skills and characteristics that former military members bring to our communities can make great contributions to community growth and prosperity.

Maine Senator Angus King has cited several important trends in the Maine economy.  The 25-45 age demographic is shrinking.  We need to attract more industry.  Finally, we need more skilled workers to help attract these companies.  As returning military members transition to meaningful Maine jobs, they’ll become a key part of this skilled worker pool, and communities will reap economic development benefits.  The personal and proactive approach of Boots2Roots helps facilitate these smooth transitions.

In a 2016 presentation, Glenn Cummings, President of the University of Southern Maine, stated that organizations “are looking for people with the ability to work well with others, communicate effectively, solve problems and manage themselves.”  This is just a snapshot of what Mainers with military experience bring to organizations and the communities in which they reside.

Boots2Roots helps transitioning military members efficiently connect with Maine employers and Maine communities.