BY DUSTIN TURNER ON 07/19/16
With pristine nature, scenic beaches, amazing seafood, quaint New England small towns and beautiful fall foliage, there are plenty of good reasons to visit the state of Maine, but the possibility of getting paid back for your vacation might just top the list.
Here’s how it works: Tourism officials obviously appreciate every dollar spent by vacationers. In fact, they appreciate it so much that if you vacation in Maine for a week and then move to the state to take a job, your new employer just might reimburse you for the vacation.
Launched in November 2015, the Live and Work in Maine program was designed to help job seekers find employment in the state. Ed McKersie, the president of Pro Search, developed the initiative because he saw “Maine’s quality of life as a competitive advantage in the global competition for talent.”
It all started with the program’s website, what McKersie describes as a “searchable employment market” that also features profiles from a variety of employers in Maine, testimonials from professionals who have relocated there and details on internships and career options for college students and new graduates.
The job-seeker program was great, but the program went a step further in summer 2016 with the Visit for a Week, Stay For a Lifetime program, which provides the financial incentive to motivate people to do visit, then stay.
McKersie said that hard-to-recruit, talented individuals have the option to live where they want to live.
“If quality of life is part of their decision when they are looking at career options, what we have to offer here in Maine puts us at a competitive advantage.”
If you visit Maine then move there, it’s not a guaranteed payday, however. Employers will use their discretion on a case-by-case basis as to whether offering a signing bonus or expense reimbursement is warranted, and the employer decides how much to money to reimburse.
While the current program is underway, Live and Work in Maine will launch similar programs for in-state and out-of-state job seekers throughout the year.
The program is still young, but McKersie said employers already are receiving inquiries. “We know of several people that are being interviewed currently. Some of these people hadn’t considered relocating to Maine before they heard about the program.”