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December 18, 2018

Katahdin Region to get economic development director

Photo / Maureen Milliken A view of Main Street in downtown Patten. Patten is the closest town to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which is partially funding a new economic development director position, under an initiative announced today by Eastern Maine Development Corp.

The Eastern Maine Development Corp. plans to hire its first economic development director, who is expected to help boost the Katahdin Region’s economy.

The position, which is partially funded by the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is expected to catalyze economic development in the region, according to a news release.

The director will be the primary link between businesses, industries, community groups, developers and funders, according to the release. It will also be funded by Penobscot County, and be based in East Millinocket, at the Katahdin Higher Education Center.

The director will be employed by the EMDC and work directly with the Katahdin Region Development Board.

The move will be discussed in a news conference this afternoon by Penobscot County Commissioner Peter Baldacci and former U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District Maine, who is chairman of the Katahdin Region Development Board.

Lee Umphrey, president and CEO of EMDC, said the public-private partnership “will drive opportunity and innovation for the entire region.”

The region includes Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Patten, Stacyville, Mt. Chase, Sherman and Island Falls.

“We anticipate hiring a director that is committed to the region and supports this long term investment,” said Michaud in the release.

The position will also be supported by Penobscot County, after commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the recommendation of funding through a contract with EMDC.

Baldacci said the vote came after the commission was approached by a local group representing the Katahdin region. “[We] decided that an initiative from the local community with the support of EMDC was a worthy investment of the new federal funds generated by the Katahdin Woods National Monument,” he said.

EMDC is a nonprofit organization that provides services to businesses, communities and individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock and Washington counties. The organization also offers statewide business assistance and lending programs. EMDC encourages collaboration and fosters the creation of a thriving economic climate.

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