CNBC ranks Maine fifth worst state for business

NOW: Business owners on bad biz ranking

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A CNBC report released this week ranked Maine 46th on a list of places to do business.

The annual America’s Top States for Business study acts as a scorecard on states' economic climate, ranking states based on their "competitiveness."

"Competitiveness" includes bringing in the best employers, innovators, and money makers. The study uses metrics such as "cost of doing business", "education", and "infrastructure", each state is ranked by category, and then an overall list is compiled.

Maine ranked 50th in the "workforce" category, citing a lack of a "skilled, productive workforce," but ranked seventh in the "quality of life" category.

► WATCH: Why did Maine get a bad business ranking?

Local business owners, including auto service technicians and mechanics, have noticed the lack of qualified workers.

"It's difficult. You put adds out trying to find people," said Mark Paulin, owner of Paulin's Tire and Auto Care. "There's a call for it. Anything in service industry, yeah it's hard on your body, but at the end of the day I can feed my family, I can pay my mortgage, but it's definitely skilled and people are going away from it."

He said the lack of skilled workers stretches him and his employees thin, and that more problems will come in the future if the workforce does not increase.

"The automotive industry is not the only one that will have a problem. Plumbers, electricians -- right now we can get those folks at a reasonable cost per hour. We're not going to like that five more years from now," said Paulin.

Paulin said he notices fewer people going into vocational schools or trades, and worries that the lack of workers will impact his business and his customer service.

"If I'm out there answering the phone and out there working on a car, yeah it's going to be tough. I can't come out in the waiting room and get to know you the way I normally would like to, so yeah, you lose a little bit of that," said Paulin.

» Find the full report for 2017 here

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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