The following is text from the governor’s Oct. 22, 2011, radio address. To listen, click the MP3 link below.

“During the past few weeks media reports have focused on lost jobs at companies like Verso Paper in Bucksport, Lowes in Biddeford and Ellsworth and Barber Foods in Portland. These are devastating blows to Maine’s families and I want them to know that state government is doing what we can to get our economy out of the rut it currently is in.

Hi. This is your Governor, Paul LePage.

Despite the bad news, I am encouraged about some of the things I’m hearing from business leaders across the state. I’m hopeful because I know there are solutions to our problems.

This week, I held the first of three job creation workshops. More than 80 private businesses and a few non-profits participated in this important discussion held at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.

The top two concerns these folks have are the cost of doing business and a workforce that is not educated and qualified to do the job.

Having the opportunity to receive feedback from folks in the business community is the start of a conversation that can turn our economy around. We must listen to our people who invest in Maine because they are the folks that have the ability to hire people.

I am serious about getting Maine people back to work.  If we want more and better paying jobs, we have to give the private sector a seat at the table.

Number one, the cost of doing business is hindering job creation. The private sector is being suffocated by high energy prices.  We want to help these businesses reduce their costs so they can expand and create more jobs. In order for that to happen, Maine must lower energy prices. We can do it through exploration of natural gas and other forms of alternative energy sources. This is a priority for the administration moving forward.

LD 1 was a good down payment on reducing regulations that are stifling job growth. But there is more to do. The Department of Environmental Protection continues to work on streamlining the permitting process to make it more efficient for business. The Department of Economic and Community Development is reaching out to private enterprises to help them navigate through the maze of government red tape and perhaps most importantly, we’re changing the culture in Augusta to a more friendly atmosphere. I’m proud to say that our administration is working for you.

The second hurdle businesses must overcome has to do with our workforce. I continue to hear that jobs are available and being offered by employers, however, they say we do not have a skilled workforce.

Lohmann Animal Health of Winslow says their biggest impediment is an uneducated workforce. Wright Express of South Portland and Arundel Machine of Arundel echo that concern.

In fact, Wright Express is expected to double their growth in the next five years and Arundel Machine, currently, is in the process of expanding one of their shops by 10,000 square feet, but both are encountering the same problem – not enough skilled people to take the jobs they have.

Wright Express needs knowledgeable IT staff and Arundel Machine needs machinists. These are two very different occupational fields dealing with a common problem.

In order to tackle this issue our institutions of higher learning need to focus on the jobs we have today.  We are training our students for jobs that don’t exist in Maine. Let’s listen to the business community and start to develop programs that will help get Mainers back to work. We want our students to stay in Maine, but why should they if they can’t land a job in Maine when they graduate?

We have answers to these problems. What we need to do is come together to implement the solutions. My administration is 100 percent focused on jobs and the Maine Legislature should be too.

Improving our education and lowering our energy costs must be addressed and my administration is working hard to get those things done. What we need is support from policy makers in Augusta.  I urge business leaders to call your Representative and Senator to let them know how government can make Maine a more business friendly state. If you are unemployed, let your legislator know that jobs should be their first priority.

We cannot afford to lose jobs. We all have a common goal to get our economy moving in the right direction. The time to act is now.

Thank you for listening. Ann and I hope you have a great weekend.”