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A new forest product sector in Maine is heating up as startup companies establish facilities to turn forest residuals into a versatile high-value product called biochar.
Up to 1,300 jobs will be needed in emerging forest-related industries over the next decade. A new course will link Mainers with job opportunities, support and education.
AxeWomen Loggers of Maine was founded by Alissa Wetherbee as way to showcase women competing in the male-dominated world of timber sports.
The executive director of the Bioscience Association of Maine promotes an industry that has an economic impact of $2.2 billion and supports 9,500 jobs.
The money was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Wood Innovations Funding Opportunity Program. Other awardees were the Jesup Memorial Library expansion in Bar Harbor and Tanbark Molded Fiber Products in Saco. Combined, the
The acquisitions are a game-changer. Robbins now has four sawmill/planer mills, a biomass power plant and a coatings facility with an expanded customer base.
Tyler Player, who founded Player Design Inc. in Presque Isle in 2008, added Ashland log manufacturer MaineFlame Inc. in 2020 and acquired fabrication shop K-Pel Industrial Services Inc. in Fort Fairfield in 2022. MaineFlame is now planning a $7
Thanks to grant funding, students pay no tuition or fees, and all personal protective equipment is provided for the program.
Founded in 2008 in a basement office, Player Design now has machinery installations around the world. The waste-wood-to-energy industry sector is seen as an opportunity to grow the company and Maine wood industries from harvesting to consumer.
The expansion is expected to create good-paying jobs in renewable energy and forest products. The mill closed a few years ago. MaineFlame opened a compressed log operation there in 2020.
The legislation also seeks to help address a logging workforce shortage that exists in some areas of Maine and is expected to worsen in coming years.
Sixty-seven percent of responding logging firms said they saw their business costs rise between 21% and 40% in the two years following September 2020.
New markets for Maine forest products could include biochar, mass timber, packaging and biobased manufacturing, made from hardwood, sawmill byproducts and lower-quality logs.
Pixelle had announced in September 2022 that the mill would close in April, citing economic forces that made operations unsustainable. About 230 employees will be affected by the closure.
About 5 million private landowners control just over half the acreage of forests in the eastern U.S., in contrast with western U.S. forests, which are mostly publicly owned. UMaine will receive $2.7 million as part of an effort to help landowners
There are other concerns: Landowners are seeing more insects and diseases that are wiping out whole species of trees and now pose one of the greatest threats to the industry.
Sponsored by: GoNetspeed, a fiber internet provider
Despite economic uncertainty and sharp swings in the stock market, Americans' retirement accounts grew in size during the second quarter of 2023, Fidelity Investments recently reported. The quarter was the third consecutive period to show an increase in account balances.
The average IRA balance grew to $113,800, up 5% from the previous quarter and a 41% increase from 10 years ago, according to nationwide data compiled by Fidelity.
The average 401(k) balance jumped to $112,400, a 4% increase from the previous quarter and a 39% increase from 10 years ago.
At the same time, the average 403(b) balance increased to $102,400, 5% more than the amount in the previous quarter and a whopping 65% spike from 10 years ago.