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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.7 Million in Maine to Boost Economic Competitiveness


WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $1.7 million in grants to support critical business and broadband infrastructure improvements throughout the state of Maine; and help businesses affected by recent paper mill and other plants closures.

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting the Commerce Department’s ‘Open for Business’ agenda that focuses on advancing innovation and strengthening our nation’s global competiveness,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investments announced today exemplify the Commerce Department’s continued commitment to help Maine succeed by suporting strategies designed to protect and grow the state’s economy.”

The EDA investments are:

  • The Eastern Maine Development Corporation in Penobscot will receive $500,000 to provide direct technical assistance to Penobscot Valley businesses impacted by the downsizing and closure of paper mills and other plants within the past three years, and other businesses with the potential to create employment opportunities for displaced workers within the region. According to grantee estimates, the EDA grant is expected to create 350 jobs, $17.5 million in private investment, and serve more than 850 workers within 30 months with 750 expected to re-enter the region’s workforce.
  • The City of Sanford in York County will receive $729,209 to support the creation of a 32-mile fiber loop that will serve the downtown Mill Yard complex, the city’s 600-acre industrial park, and more than 80 anchor institutions that are not currently served with broadband infrastructure. The EDA grant is expected to create 142 jobs within 10 years and generate at least $1.1 million in private investment.
  • The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority in Brunswick will receive a $517,000 grant to support the installation of cranes, ventilation and gas delivery systems, and other improvements to a building at the Naval Air Station Brunswick. The facility is expected to be utilized as a production facility for a local boatbuilding company. With this project, the company expects to create 70 new, high-quality manufacturing jobs and generate at least $517,000 in private investment.

In August, EDA led an Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) to Maine at the request of members of Maine’s congressional delegation. The EDAT brought together federal agencies and business stakeholders to create economic development strategies and focus on job growth in the wake of several mill closures.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. To learn more about EDA, visit www.eda.gov.