Newsletter - June 26, 2019
June 26, 2019
As promised, here is an update on our work:
Our current initiatives are:
Finalizing our updated Strategic Plan to allow us to fully understand need and outcomes while considering our capacity as two staff members and a volunteer board of directors.
- Our Vision Statement: GFDC's vision is to enhance the quality of life in Western Maine by fostering a vibrant economy where opportunities abound.
- Our Mission Statement: GFDC's mission is to attract and assist businesses and entrepreneurs by advocating, promoting, and collaborating to support a sustainable and thriving economy.
Outreach: We recently escorted our federal delegation on a tour of Jarden Plastic Solutions in Wilton with Plant Manager, Jason Holman and Operations Manager, Adam Buote. This quiet company on Mill Street employs 200! Their manufacturing facility is located at Mill Street. For inventory control they either own or lease multiple buildings between Wilton and Jay. They are a state-of-the-art manufacturer providing just about all of the plastic silverware that you can find east of the Mississippi River. What we heard:
- It is very challenging to find people that want to work. They annually hire 100 people to retain 20.
- In order to reach a broader workforce geography they see Western Maine Transportation as an essential partner to provide employee transport to/from Jarden.
Fact: Rural Maine’s workforce is smaller than it was ten years ago due to out-migration. (US Census Bureau 2018 Data)
Workforce Development: We are working closely with our workforce partners to convene conversations around goal setting with measurable results. This is a very healthy development as we found the previous Administration unsupportive of our rural needs. The state’s Career Center now has representation right here at Western Maine Community Action in Wilton and we look forward to seeing that there is predictable support for our citizens going forward.
A regional Branding and Marketing initiative that will organize and amplify the assets and experiences that our region (extending from Livermore Falls to the Canadian Border) can offer via a campaign-based website that we will be rolling out in the next 4-6 weeks. We are working with two action items:
- Work collaboratively and creatively in building awareness of the High Peaks region and brand.
- Develop a Business to Business (B2B) campaign to attract visitors to the region. The campaign will organize a network of business excursion hubs that market our region as Maine's premiere destination for business retreats and corporate excursions. We aim to launch the website dedicated to the campaign in July.
We continue to Engage the Legislature on each of the above issues as well as Energy and Forest Economy bills that could result in a stimulated economy for many of our towns and citizens.
Of note: On June 19th the Maine Senate unanimously passed LD 1698,a production tax credit for renewable chemicals and products that will bring high-paying green jobs to rural Maine, sending the bill to Governor Mills’ desk. The Senate vote follows a unanimous vote in the House.
The legislation will incentivize new, climate-friendly biobased technologies to invest in Maine, fighting global climate change and creating high-paying green jobs that will revitalize Maine’s mill town communities.
Our regional Arts, Cultural and Heritage plan rolled out surveys in January to gather data about existing assets and find synergies to strengthen and identify opportunities with untapped assets. We are in the process of wrapping up the survey collection phase, which will be ending on June 30th.
Please take the time to fill out a short survey before the deadline if you have not already!
You may fill out as many of the surveys that apply to you:
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