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August 23, 2018

Aroostook Partnership's CEO and president retires

Photo / Becky Shea
Photo / Becky Shea
Bob Dorsey, president and CEO of Aroostook Partnership for Progress, has retired. He's led the organization since 2012.

Aroostook Partnership President and CEO Bob Dorsey has retired.

Thecounty.me reported that Dorsey, 65, took the job in 2012, when the organization was eight years old and focused on addressing the demographic decline of Aroostook County. He told the newspaper that the county's aging demographics and securing the future workforce remain the County's biggest challenge.

Dorsey grew up in Fort Fairfield and had a 30-year career with the Air Force and Pentagon.

In 2015, Dorsey helped lead a grassroots effort to advance the forest products sector as a "cluster" with a strong potential for adding good-paying jobs in Aroostook County. The sector, he told Mainebiz then, was "a big deal, not only for Aroostook County but also for the entire state of Maine."

In 2012, when he was first hired, he told Mainebiz that it was important to fight the notion that there are no good jobs in Aroostook County, a misperception, he said, that was at the heart of the outmigration of Aroostook County's young people. At that time, Aroostook Partnership was spearheading the Aroostook County Jobs Projection effort, which aimed to create a database of the county's biggest employers and their projected needs for employees, thus allowing students to get a head-start on pursuing specific courses of study.

According to Aroostook Partnership's 2017 Economic Development report, last year was productive for Aroostook County economic development efforts.

Among the accomplishments cited:

  • A new Harbor Freight Tools retail store opened at the Aroostook Centre Mall.
  • Tractor Supply Co. opened its third Aroostook location, with a store at a commercial plaza in Madawaska.
  • Smith and Wesson expanded in Houlton.
  • The Maine Malt House business expanded in Mapleton.
  • A new business, TRP Truck Parts, opened at Loring.
  • The new $3.1 million Acme Monaco expansion opened in the Presque Isle Industrial Park.
  • The forest products sector flourished with both Louisiana Pacific and Huber having a great year.
  • The potato and broccoli crop quality was excellent.

Overall, there was more than $160 million in business investment and 243 new jobs created throughout the county, bringing the county's five-year totals to over $900 million in investment and 914 new jobs created.

Looking forward, the report said Aroostook Partnership's top priority remains growing the county's future workforce.

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