Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $526,000 Economic Adjustment Assistance Program grant to the Northern Forest Center. In June, Senators Collins and King wrote a letter to the EDA in support of this project. The funding, which will be matched dollar for dollar by the Center, will be used to support their project titled, “Economic Resilience in the Northern Forest,” an initiative to help forest-based businesses innovate and adapt to historic shifts in the regional forest economy. The Center expects that the project will assist at least 50 businesses and create or retain 350 jobs in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.
“Maine’s forest-based economy is an integral part of our state’s heritage and has helped to form the bedrock of many rural communities,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We welcome this federal investment from the EDA, which will bolster the Northern Forest Center’s important efforts to foster growth and create jobs across the forest products industry.”
The funding provided by the EDA will allow the Northern Forest Center to partner with several industry stakeholders to provide technical assistance to Maine businesses in three forest-based economy sectors: secondary wood products manufacturing, wood heat, and destination tourism. The Center will provide customized assistance ranging from basic digital marketing to complex staff training in an effort to help businesses enhance their products, delivery, and services.
Established in 1997, the Northern Forest Center works across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York to catalyze innovation, create jobs and leverage investment in the changing regional forest economy sector. By working across state boundaries, the Center’s programs reflect the regional nature of the supply chains and markets that support the wood products manufacturing, wood energy, and tourism sectors and thus are uniquely positioned to help increase success in the context of a sustainably managed forest landscape.
As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the EDA fosters regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Through strategic investments that foster job creation and attract private investment, EDA supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States.