What do jobs, craft beer and Maine have in common?
This past Thursday, all three convened at our WorkLife Center in Boston’s Seaport District as part of the Maine Startup and Create Tour. We co-hosted this event with Maine Startup and Create Week, a group that organizes a week-long conference showcasing the vibrant, startup ecosystem in Maine. They connect the growing community of people inspired by the entrepreneurial success and potential of the Portland, Maine.
A bus with 50 Maine-based entrepreneurs and businesspeople departed from our Portland office on Thursday afternoon and arrived in Boston to meet and speak with over 150 people who currently work in the greater Boston area, with the hopes of selling the benefits of working and living in the country’s northeastern-most state.
Maine companies have been struggling to fill vacancies with skilled people. With much of its workforce aging and more of the state’s revenue coming from new businesses than ever before, this group of companies is working together to get more young talent to Maine, rather than competing with each other. They believe that there are a multitude of benefits to living and working in Maine that will attract more people from the greater Boston area. A few of our Portlanders have offered their experiences on living and working in the Pine Tree state.
The General Manager of our Portland office, Stephanie Brock, is originally from the Boston area and made the move to Maine a few years ago:
I have spent most of my life in the Boston area and most of my career working for Red Thread. I moved away for a few years, but came back to New England to raise my daughter. I love Boston – the people, culture, history – but as a single mom with many passions, the lifestyle, commute and expense was starting to wear on me. When the opportunity opened up within Red Thread to move to Maine, I jumped at the chance. It’s been more than I could have wished for – Maine is an amazing place going through its own renaissance, where if you’re bright, eager and willing to pitch in, you can definitely see your efforts contributing to the greater good of the community. It’s a small pond that embraces it’s big fish. Collectively there’s an understanding that if there are awesome people living here doing awesome things, we’ll have an awesome place to live, work and raise our families. Aside from the natural resources, parks, recreation, beaches, etc., Maine is still in New England, and in close proximity to Boston – we have world-class resorts, dining, breweries, organizations and a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem full of opportunities to forage innovative partnerships and do some really cool stuff.
Our Digital Content Manager, Erica Mullen, is a Maine native who moved back after several years in Boston:
I’m really grateful to work for an organization that understood my need for a better quality of life and supported my return to Maine. My four years in Boston were an incredible experience, but the grueling commute and congested city life didn’t suit my introverted personality. I am much happier back in my home state, where I can enjoy the vibrancy of the city of Portland in such close proximity to forests, mountains and beaches. I went from a 50-75 minute commute each way to less than 10 minutes and can look forward to purchasing a home, which was out of reach for me in Boston’s suburbs.
One of our Account Manager/Designers, Melinda DeCoster-Martens, is a recent Maine transplant from Connecticut:
I relocated to Maine on a whim. My husband and I were looking to move out of Connecticut due to the high cost of living and increased traffic was taking away from our quality of life. At the time I was an employee with Red Thread in Connecticut and worked with an amazing team there. I took the leap to change offices as well as roles without ever having visited Maine. It was a risky move but as soon as I crossed the Piscataqua Bridge into the Maine state line I knew I was home.
Working for such a supportive company allowed for a seamless transition. I have been encouraged to grow within my career while having a quality of life. Whether it’s biking to work along the shore, heading to the farmer’s market on lunch, or attending a networking event with views of Casco Bay the activities that were once mundane tasks have now become wonderful experiences. Between the gorgeous shorelines, the mountains, and the people who make up this state, I am honored to call Maine my home.
It’s true what they say “Maine, the way life should be”.
The experiences of the people in our Portland office really sum up what makes Maine such an ideal place to live and work. If you haven’t been there, it is definitely worth a visit (and perhaps an extended stay)! To learn more about the Maine Startup and Create Tour and their full week of events in June, visit their website.