Manufacturing — making products and adding value to raw materials — plays a crucial role in Maine’s economic well-being, but the industry is changing.
Pulp and paper production has declined over the years as several mills have shuttered. Emerging firms are smaller than they once were, and many now use high-tech, precision manufacturing. Despite its alterations, however, the manufacturing economy in Maine continues to expand and evolve.
Companies eager to fuel or participate in industry growth face challenges in their efforts to create new products, implement cutting-edge technology and teach their existing workforce new skills. Fortunately, the Advanced Manufacturing Center, which is part of the University of Maine College of Engineering, is eager to help them. The center has assisted many manufacturers in Maine and beyond over the years with efforts to innovate and explore new areas in the industry. It also often acts as a research and development lab for companies that are unable to experiment on their own.
In this episode of “The Maine Question,” we speak with AMC director John Belding about the role the center plays for Maine firms and the prospects for the state manufacturing industry.