Posted: September 13, 2013 | Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future, Senator Vitelli

Will chair Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee

AUGUSTA – Senator Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic has been named by Senate President Justin Alfond to the Legislature’s special Workforce Committee, and will chair the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee.


“I am excited to work with lawmakers who did such outstanding work last session,” said Senator Vitelli. “It will be an honor to serve on the committee and I look forward to continuing to support workers, small businesses, and our local communities.”


Through her position as Director of Program and Policy at Women, Work and Community, Senator Vitelli collaborated with the Workforce Committee on efforts to address Maine’s skills gap, support small businesses, and strengthen Maine’s downtowns and Main Streets.


The Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future was formed at the start of the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature.

The committee created first-of-its kind workforce legislation in Maine that received unanimous support from the bipartisan committee. The legislation, now law, moves Maine forward in closing the state’s skills gap. The law creates new degree programs in high-demand, high-wage fields as well as expanding existing programs such as nursing, to reduce the backlog of enrollment wait lists. The measure also creates a scholarship fund for Mainers who started postsecondary education degree programs, but have not yet completed their degree, and creates a first-ever uniform and seamless credit transfer system to reduce the need for students to repeat classes when transferring. Additionally, the measure restores funding for the Maine Apprenticeship Program.

Senator Vitelli will also serve as the Senate Chair of the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee which is responsible for reviewing proposals pertaining to the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Conservation, the Land Use Regulations Commission (LURC), the Land for Maine’s Future Program, and Baxter State Park. Previous bills have addressed food safety, the dairy industry, public lands, and animal control and welfare. She is the only woman on the committee.


Senator Vitelli added that women are the fastest growing sector of farmers in Maine and she said “local food is a key component of our economy and our heritage and I’ve long been interested in increasing access to healthy food.”


Senator Vitelli was elected in a special election on August 27 to complete the term vacated by Seth Goodall, who stepped down to accept a Presidential appointment as the New England Regional Administrator of the Small Business Administration.