Goals & Accomplishments

Mobilize Maine’s goals were created to address three fundamental challenges in the Maine economy. First, the economic development delivery system needed to be modernized and streamlined. Second, that we needed to acknowledge that top down approaches had failed to show measurable results and there needed to be a refocus on building capacity at the regional level. Third, an intensive, asset-based approach was needed to replace a needs-based approach, which has resulted in 30 years of anemic economic performance (50% below U.S. GDP growth).

Goals:

  • Produce over 15,000 new jobs (at livable wage) over the next 5 years
  • Be the fastest growing economy in New England
  • Create a statewide economic development strategy from the ground up
  • Create strong bonds between the public and private sector

Accomplishments:

  • All 7 economic development districts have adopted a common set of goals and standards around asset-based economic development
  • All regions have aligned the economic development strategies to help create a statewide strategy that will be produced this year
  • Each region has engaged 100s of private, public and community leaders around MM
  • Attracted the support of the Maine State Chamber, Maine Development Foundation and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration.

Regionally:

Southern Maine Planning and Development District

  • In second round of short-term manufacturing training at York County Community College, close to 30 participants expected to get job offers
  • Just received a $1M revolving loan fund award for small business capital
  • Expanding role of Economic Development Corporation to create a true county-wide gap financing lending resource throughout York County
  • Partnered with UNE to host a Broadband Summit, attracting over 75 business and community leaders from around the region
  • Approved for a $1M Revolving Loan Fund grant for cleaning up polluted sites commonly called Brownfields Redevelopment

Greater Portland Council of Governments

  • Received prestigious Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation from U.S. Department of Commerce. One of 12 regions nationwide. Focus on fisheries and agricultural processing
  • Partnered with Southern Maine Community College to implemented stackable IT training modules for the unemployed and New Mainers populations
  • Organized Energy Action team
    • Implemented B-20 conversions into Casco Bay Lines marine fleet
    • Held Sebago Lake Region Energy Summit to begin to discuss energy alternatives in the region
    • Convening regional energy experts on a monthly basis
    • Held Tri-Gen conference with over 80 businesses present

Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments

  • Working closely with Lewiston-Auburn Growth Council on implementing regional growth strategy using Mobilize Maine principals of growing from within
  • Successfully drove food co-op and local grain aggregation hub for local users
  • Continues to be the regional advocate and conveyor for rail and multi-model transportation systems in region
  • Workforce training focus on healthcare with regions health care and workforce providers:
    • St Mary’s Health Systems
    • Central Maine and Kennebec Valley Community Colleges
    • Central Maine Medical Center
    • Franklin Memorial Hospital
    • Maine General Health

Kennebec Valley Council of Governments

  • Strongly supported natural gas expansion into Augusta and region
  • Working with partners in Franklin County to increase local food production and buying

Mid-Coast Economic Development District

  • Developed strong working relationships with all three Counties within its jurisdiction
  • Worked closely with Brunswick Landing on attracting companies to the retired air base

Eastern Maine Development Corporation

  • EMDC/MM Leadership team was a strong supporter of new $65M Cross Insurance Center
  • Monthly meetings with education and business leaders help shape the future workforce of the region to ensure alignment with the needs of area businesses
  • Strong collaboration with Blackstone, bringing programs to the University of Maine and the region creating a hub of innovation and entrepreneurial programs

Northern Maine Development Commission

  • Ongoing energy work with team of close to 60 private and public partners
    • Converted over 20 businesses to alternative wood fuel, saving over 300 jobs
    • Working to convert 1000s of homes to wood heat
    • Goal of saving $10M in regional economy by 2017
  • One of a handful of districts nationally to merge economic and workforce development under one roof
  • Working hard with local food and forestry clusters