WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King released the following statement today in response to the announcement that Madison Paper Industries mill in Madison will close by the end of May:
“This is devastating news for Madison’s dedicated employees and their families as well as for the Town of Madison and the entire state of Maine. We stand ready to assist any and all affected workers in whatever ways we can,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement.
“The closure also underscores the need to launch renewed economic development efforts in communities across rural Maine. From Bucksport to Lincoln and Millinocket, and now in Madison, our state has lost five mills in just the past two years, putting thousands of people out of work and creating an economic crisis that demands immediate action. We have called on the Commerce Department to dispatch an Economic Development Assessment Team to marshal the resources of the federal government and work closely with state and local officials to develop strategies that will spur innovation and job growth for Maine’s forest products industry. Such a team is needed now more than ever, and we will continue to press the Commerce Department and its federal partners to assist rural Maine.”
This morning, Senators Collins and King sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker calling on the Commerce Department to establish and lead an integrated, multi-agency Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) focused on Maine’s forest-based economy. The EDAT would leverage the power of multiple federal government agencies and harness stakeholder input to create economic development strategies that would help pave the way for job growth for rural Maine communities in the years to come.