As Labor Day Approaches, We Recognize The Work Ethic And Entrepreneurial Spirit Of Mainers

August 30, 2023 | President’s blog

Brian Whitney MTI President

It’s hard to believe but the final days of August, and summer, are upon us.  And, given the unrelenting soggy weather, it almost seems like we just experienced the year without a summer.  That said, Labor Day is on our doorstep and my favorite season – – fall – – soon follows.

On the topic of Labor Day, it’s important to honor and commemorate its origins.  The History Channel tells us that, “it was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894 . . . and is also celebrated with parties, street parades and athletic events.”

As we prepare for the long weekend and our celebration of the advancement of our economy and its ever-improving working conditions – – which, for many, now includes working from home – – it also seems appropriate to acknowledge the American entrepreneurial work ethic and its role in the growth of our standard of living.  Americans, and Mainers in particular, have an unrivaled work ethic.

Ever since our start as a state in 1820 and even earlier, Maine workers have distinguished themselves as hardworking and resourceful.  Early on, our abundant natural resources paved the way for advances in farming, fishing, and forestry. Our waterways provided power and access to markets which led to the birth and growth of large textile, paper making, boat building, and shoe manufacturing industries.  Our natural-resource-based industries continue to dominate Maine’s economy and our state’s emphasis on sound environmental practices and sustainable harvesting methods, make Maine a prized destination for tourists from around the globe who visit to experience our beautiful unpolluted coastal and lake regions, vast unspoiled trails, and clean air.  The thousands of workers in Maine’s tourism and hospitality industry labor tirelessly to make certain that our visitors enjoy their time in our great state.  They leave a lasting and positive impression on all our guests and further exemplify why Maine workers are so special.

The traditional Maine values of grit, determination, and Yankee ingenuity have also led to a bourgeoning technology-based economy where entrepreneurs are converting their innovative ideas into amazing new products and services through inventiveness and the process of trial and error.  Small and large businesses alike are being created by visionary and hard working Mainers – – businesses like Idexx, WEX, Covetrus, STARC Systems, Atlantic Sea Farms, Marin Skincare, Nyle Systems, and North Spore, to name just a few.  The amazing founders and teams behind these enterprises are generating immense economic impact and, further, are providing valuable and rewarding employment opportunities for Maine workers.

Again, the Maine work ethic is well-known and valued the world over.  That’s why those of us in government and economic development frequently hear from employers with national and global footprints that their Maine-based operations typically lead all other locations in productivity and output.

So, as we prepare to usher in fall and enjoy crisp Maine apples, beautiful foliage, barbeques, football season, and cool dry air, do not let this weekend pass without acknowledging the Maine worker and his and her tireless contributions to our unsurpassed way of life.

Happy Labor Day.