Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
The 2007 Midcoast Economic
Midcoast Council for Business Development & Planning
Lincoln County Economic Development Office
Table of Contents
I. Background Pg. 5
II. Analysis of Economic & Community
Development Problems & Opportunities Pg. 22
III. CEDS Goals & Objectives Pg. 44
IV. Community and Private Sector Participation Pg. 54
V. Suggested Projects Pg. 57
VI. Vital Projects, Programs and Activities Pg. 63
VII. Economic Clusters Pg. 66
VIII. Plan of Action Pg. 76
IX. Performance Measures Pg. 91
X. Integration with State‘s Economic
Development Priorities Pg. 100
Appendix A, B, C, D: Community Participation
From Brunswick to Waldoboro, the Midcoast District offers an array of retail, service, tourist,
cultural and educational options. The towns of Bath, Brunswick, Topsham, Waldoboro, Wiscasset
and Damariscotta comprise the major population centers. The Androscoggin River runs feverishly
through the Towns of Brunswick and Topsham, meeting with the Pejepscot; and the Kennebec
River spreads out and joins the Sassanoa, the magnets that made Bath ―the city of ships‖. The rich
history of the shipbuilding days is evidenced by the large sea captains‘ houses topped with widow
walks, and other remnants of the seafaring life. Today, one can still enjoy the area‘s many harbors
and inlets, such as Merrymeeting Bay and New Meadows Harbor, and find marinas that service
modern day vessels.
Also part of the Midcoast District is the town of Harpswell, which boasts 150 miles of rugged
and remote coastline, more than any other town in the State. Harpswell‘s fishermen continue the
traditional work of their fathers and grandfathers, while watching their community become a
retreat for the rich and famous. Within a short drive, one can experience the congestion of
consumers in the downtown centers and development of Bath, Brunswick, and Topsham and also
the winding roads and ocean vistas of the Harpswell peninsula. The contrast between Cooks
Corner and places like Mackerel Cove make it necessary to employ a myriad of innovations and
investment in order to keep these varied communities vibrant and healthy. While vast summer
homes sprout up on Harpswell‘s wave-crashed crags, development up the peninsula has seen the
renovation and transformation of many of the mill and fort buildings. These quaint complexes
house business offices as well as local artisans, restaurants, gourmet shops and value-added
products. The Bowdoin Mill and Fort Andross are examples of revitalization that are alive and
To the northeast are the coastal towns of Wiscasset, Damariscotta, Boothbay and the Pemaquid
and South Bristol peninsulas, flooded with tourists and part-time residents during the summer
months, bringing economic support to the many retail and service-related businesses. Fishing and
other marine-related industries such as boat-building, aquaculture, clamming, worming, etc.,
depend on location and access to the waterfront, and continue to fill an important role in the local
economy. The paradox of how to support the growing tourist industry in the area while also
maintaining the traditional qualities of coastal Maine life which attract many tourists in the first
place is one that requires a creative set of solutions. The Sheepscot, Medomak, Damariscotta, and
Marsh Rivers link the inland lakes and farmlands to the sea and house ecosystems that are
imperative to the vitality of many resource-based businesses. Inland from the coast are the pastoral
and unquestionably rural towns of Jefferson, Dresden, Alna, Somerville, and others. Rambling old
farmhouses and overgrown fields recall the subsistence farming of the past on the fertile but rocky
coastal and river plains. Some small farms have survived or have been revived, and comprise an
important sector ready for innovative economic development, through cultural heritage tourism
and the like.
Midcoast Economic Development District
This Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the Midcoast region of
Maine, which consists of Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties, as well as the communities of
Brunswick and Harpswell, is an economic analysis of the region; vision, goals, objectives and
actions for economic development of the region, a list of prioritized economic projects and
performance measures to determine progress in meeting the economic goals.
Many events since the submission of the last CEDS in 2002 have forever changed the
region and prompted communities into action. The Defense Department‘s decision to close the
Brunswick Naval Air Base (NASB), beginning in 2008, will result in the loss of over 5000 jobs
and 135 million dollars annually from the local economy. Layoffs at the region‘s other major
employers, such as the Bath Iron Works (BIW) and the closing of other manufacturing facilities,
have also negatively impacted the regional economy. Such jobs losses affect other sectors of the
economy as well, particularly the service, construction and retail industries. The Midcoast must
also replace workers expected to leave the region in the next few years. Severe shortages are
already being experienced in the health care and education industries and are projected to grow
worse with these departures.
These economic adjustment problems have spurred the two regional economic
development organizations into action. The Lincoln County Economic Development Office
(LCEDO) and the Midcoast Council for Business Development & Planning (MCBDP) have
worked closely together since the submission of the District‘s first CEDS in 2002. With the
awarding of a planning grant from the Department of Commerce‘s Economic Development
Administration (EDA) these offices have been able to increase their effectiveness in assisting with
identifying local economic opportunities and developing market-based strategies that will increase
private sector investment and job creation in the region. This document will serve to explain the
activities and programs in the MCEDD region for the last five years, as well as give a
comprehensive blueprint of the next five years as well.
Closely following the Summary of Requirements published by the Economic Development
Administration for the CEDS, the offices of LCEDO and MCBDP formed a Midcoast Economic
Strategy Committee to prepare the CEDS. The Committee represents all major economic and
community interests in the region and held four public visioning meetings throughout 2007 to
review the CEDS process and contribute the information used to compile this document. A private
economic research and planning firm, Planning Decisions, was hired to facilitate the visioning
sessions and assist in the preparation.
The CEDS will be submitted to the EDA for approval following the mandatory 30 day
public comment period and will be reviewed and updated annually by the Strategy Committee.
Questions about the CEDS can be directed to LCEDO at (207) 882-7564 or MCBDP at (207) 443-
Part 1: ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
Economic Base Analysis
This section will provide an overview of the regional economy and will serve as a basis for
building an economic development strategy to be presented to the Economic Development
Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Because this is only the second
CEDS submitted to the EDA for review, this report is in may ways still an introduction of the
Midcoast region to the EDA. Following this analogy, the report will speak of the region as ―us‖,
and will be organized around providing answers to four questions.
Where are we?
This will consist of a description of the geography of the region, its population distribution and its
major transportation centers.
Who are we?
This will consist of a presentation of the basic demographic facts of the region and a brief analysis
of its sources of income.
What do we do?
This will consist of an examination of the sources of income and employment in the region by
major industrial category.
How do we do it?
This will consist of an examination of the structure of business and major industries in the region
by size and labor force characteristics
Problems and Opportunities
This section will provide an overview of challenges and opportunities facing the Midcoast.
1. Where are we? The Midcoast region
The Midcoast region, although relatively small in size, is diverse and features much of what
makes Maine such a unique and special place. Comprised of Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties, as
well as the towns of Brunswick and Harpswell, the region is over 700 square miles, with more
heavily populated communities in the west, agrarian communities in the north and east and
working waterfront and fishing communities all along its coast. Several of the region‘s larger
communities function as service centers for the smaller ones and feature most of the region‘s
The Midcoast is extraordinarily diverse economically; it is home to the state‘s largest industrial
facility, Bath Iron Works, which has a long history of shipbuilding and is among the state‘s largest
employers, while also featuring some of its smallest and most rural municipalities. The local
economies of the region rely on a wide array of activities, from marine-based industry and
resources, to tourism, to agricultural production. It is also home to an ever increasing number of
retirees, who are drawn to the region by its beauty and high quality of life. There are 31 member
municipalities, a township, a plantation and a gore spread. These towns are divided among four
separate state designated Labor Market Areas (LMAs); Brunswick, Boothbay, Waldoboro and
Augusta. Because there is not a single urban center for the region, many of its demographic
characteristics are unique.
Table 1 - Population Growth of MCEDD Communities 2000-2006
Town/City/Plantation 2000 2006 +/- %
Lincoln County 33,709 35,234 4.3%
Alna 675 683 1.2%
Boothbay 2,977 3,255 9.3%
Boothbay Harbor 2,336 2,338 0%
Bremen 790 812 2.8%
2,652 2,812 6%
Damariscotta 2,042 1,972 -3.4%
Dresden 1,618 1,709 5.6%
Edgecomb 1,096 1,228 12%
Hibberts gore 1 1 0%
Jefferson 2,398 2,563 6.9%
Louds Island Unorganized Twnshp. 2 2 0%
Monhegan Plantation 75 72 -.04%
Newcastle 1,756 1,970 13.3%
Nobleboro 1,632 1,696 3.9%
Somerville 509 537 5.5%
South Bristol 897 869 -3.1%
Southport 687 699 1.7%
Waldoboro 4,914 5,090 3.6%
Westport 746 821 10%
Whitefield 2,276 2,234 -1.8%
Wiscasset 3,630 3,871 6.6%
Sagadahoc County 35,237 36,837 4.5%
Arrowsic 478 513 7.3%
Bath 9,208 9,184 -.2%
Bowdoin 2,726 2,934 7.6%
Bowdoinham 2,617 2,773 6%
Georgetown 1,025 1,136 10.8%
Perkins Unorganized Twnshp. - 1 ----
Phippsburg 2,108 2,189 3.8%
Richmond 3,297 3,421 3.8%
Topsham 9,124 9,940 8.9%
West Bath 1,840 1,817 -1.3%
Woolwich 2,814 2,929 4.1%
Cumberland County 26,414 27,119 2.7%
Brunswick 21,184 21,915 3.5%
Harpswell 5,230 5,204 -.5%
Chart 1 - Population Growth by Area 2000- Source: Maine State Planning Office, 2006
Source: Maine State Planning Office, 2006
Chart 2 - Projected Population Growth by Area 2006-2015
Source: Maine State Planning Office, 2006
Population growth in the region continues to be unevenly distributed. Urban centers
(Brunswick, Topsham, Bath, West Bath) grew by only 3.7%, while the rest of the region grew at a
considerably higher rate
Table 2 – Population Growth in MCEDD Region
Municipality/County Percentage change 2000-20006
Lincoln County 4.8%
*Growth percentage for Sagadahoc County does not include population figures for the City of Bath or the Town of
This trend is expected to continue in a similar fashion. Growth rates for the most part in
Maine seem to be highest in the outlying municipalities of service center communities. The
population distribution of the Midcoast region may shift even more dramatically in the coming
years as off-base military personnel, stationed at NASB are redeployed to other installations. This
process will begin in 2008 and complete in 2011. Because the communities in the immediate
vicinity of the base (Brunswick, Topsham, Bath) are currently home to the greatest number of
military families, they are expected to deal with the consequences of declining population
(shrinking tax base, declining school enrollments, etc.).
2. Who are we? The people of the Midcoast region
This section will focus on two major points of population: the slow rate of population growth
and its changing demographic composition
The state of Maine continues to grow, but at a rate slower than the national average. While
population increases, the influx of new residents tend to be retirees and near retirees. Recent
studies analyzing Maine‘s economy reveal that younger residents, particularly those in the age
range of 25-34 are leaving the state at an increasing rate.1 This trend is consistent with what has
been experienced in the Midcoast region as well. This continued shift in Maine‘s demographics
will require the state‘s regional economies to adapt in many ways. First, an educated and diverse
workforce must be trained to meet the needs of existing businesses, as well as start ups and out-of-
state operations looking to relocate. Secondly, service industries, and in particular health care and
sectors that cater to the ever growing population of retirees must be sufficiently supported to meet
these demands this population will create.
1 Charting Maine‘s Future: An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places , Page 7
Chart 3 - Age composition of population (update from page 8 of 2002 CEDS)
Source; Maine State Planning Office 2006
Table 3 – Percentage of Population by Age
Town/County Median Age % 20-34 % 65+
Lincoln 42.6 13.6 18.2
Sagadahoc 38.0 17.1 12.3
Brunswick/Harpswell 38.6 21.3 15.5.
Maine 35.3 17.9 14.4
Source; Maine State Planning Office 2006
The population of the Midcoast regions is older than that of the state or the U.S. as a whole.
Both the Midcoast and Maine have smaller proportions of their populations in the young adult
years and larger populations in the post 65 years. These differences, moreover, have increased over
the past decade.
Chart 4 – Growth of Population over the age of 65
United States 11.4%
Source: Maine State Planning Office, 2006
Income and Employment
Per capita income for the Midcoast region as a whole is 31,027, slightly below the Maine
state figure of $31,252 and 36% below the New England median income. Even more significant,
however, is the source of income.
Chart 5 - Per Capita Income Comparison - 2006
$ $ $
3 4 3
1 2 4
0 3 5
2 1 8
7 4 6
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, March 2006
The region has also seen the loss of jobs in well-paying manufacturing industries as some
operations have either closed or scale back operations. Recent examples of this can be seen with
the closing of the Osram Sylvania plant in Waldoboro and layoff at the Bath Iron Works.
Unfortunately, these jobs have not been replaced with those offering comparable pay and benefits,
but, instead, with lower paying jobs in service sectors. The stability of these jobs is also very
uncertain, given that many service industries have been identified as among those most likely to be
affected in the wake of the Air Base closing.
Table 4 - Significant Layoffs & Closings in the MCEDD Region 2006-2008
Employer # of workers Date
Bath Iron Works 37 9/2006
Bath Iron Works 19 1/2007
Richmond News not known 9/2006
Woolwich Chevrolet 16 9/2006
Atrium Inn/Conv. Ctr. 32 10/2006
Left of Center Artworks not known 12/2006
Northern Mattress not known 1/2007
True Value Hardware 10 5/2007
Park View Adventist Hospital 14 9/2007
Bath Iron Works 73 1/2008
Source: Maine Department of Labor, Quarterly Report Western District, January 2008
The employment sectors identified in the BLRA‘s impact study to be the hardest hit by the base
closing employ the greatest number of the region‘s workers
Chart 5 - Top 5 major industries, ranked by number of employees 2005
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000
*Source Maine Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Services
These five employment sectors alone, account for nearly 47% of the LMA‘s 33,100
workforce. The projected impact of the base closing, combined with continuing decline in
manufacturing jobs could potentially push the Midcoast unemployment rate well above state and
The Midcoast depends more on income derived from property (dividends, interest and rent)
than through earnings. This situation is of particular concern with a soft housing market, expected
to be exacerbated by the ―housing glut‖ the region will experience with the departure of military
families. These factors are likely to depress property values and rent levels, possibly for years.
Employment opportunities in new and emerging industries could potentially replace those
highly desirable jobs lost in declining industries, provided that effective business retention and
expansion programs are properly utilized. These opportunities are more thoroughly discussed in
the next section.
3. What do we do? The jobs and workers of the Midcoast region
Having examined the Midcoast‘s major sources of income, the next step in understanding
its economic base is to look in more detail at its sources of earned income, to ask, in effect, ―What
do we do in the Midcoast region to earn our income?‖
Chart 6 - Midcoast Economic Development District‘s Largest Employment Sectors
Total Employment Force - 33,100
Source: Maine Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Services
The average weekly salary among Midcoast residents varies widely. For example, average
annual wages of Lincoln County and the Town of Harpswell residents is well below the regional
and state average, while Sagadahoc County‘s is well above. However, it must be remembered that
Sagadahoc is the smallest of all Maine counties, with a high percentage of its workforce employed
by Bath Iron Works. While salaries paid by this employer are well above regional and state
averages, the operation has laid off hundreds of employees, with more layoffs expected in the
future. A continued contraction in this industry will affect annual wage totals for Sagadahoc and
lower further those for abutting communities and counties.
Chart 7 - Average Annual Wage Figures 2006
Source: Maine Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Services
The reliance upon traditionally lower-paying extraction industries (e.g. fishing, farming,
forestry) for employment in the communities of Lincoln County and Harpswell, does help to
explain the lower annual wage figures. The elimination of manufacturing jobs in the region also
accounts for a reduction as well, as many of these have been replaced by lower paying service
Consistent with state and national trends, the Midcoast continues to see a decline in
agricultural and manufacturing jobs. The loss of jobs in the manufacturing industry is of particular
concern, as they tend to be ones with good pay and benefits. Two major employers in the area,
Osram Sylvania and Stinson Seafood have ceased operations entirely, while the largest employer,
Bath Iron Works has had to trim its workforce in response to fewer contracts. As a result, the
percentage of workers in service related industries has increased significantly, allowing the region
to maintain a rather stable rate of employment. Unfortunately, these jobs do not offer a comparable
pay rate or benefits as those lost and the economic forecast for the region in the wake of the base
closing predicts significant damage done to jobs in these sectors. This, coupled with an expected
drop off in population, will force many of these operations to identify new markets, scale back
operations or close all together.
4. How do we do it? The Midcoast’s business structure
The current business structure in the Midcoast is consistent with that of the state. The
Midcoast economy is powered by-and-large by small business, even with the large regional
employers factored in, the region‘s average number of employees per business is near the state
average. When Bath Iron Works is removed from consideration, the average is significantly lower
than the rest of Maine. In Lincoln County, for example the average number of employees per
business is 6.4, slightly more than half the state average of 11.9. And in Sagadahoc, the figure,
when BIW is omitted from calculation is 9.4.
Chart 8 - Number of employees per business by area, 2005
ource: Maine Department of Labor, Labor Market Information Services
Over 60% of Maine businesses employ four or fewer people. Sagadahoc averages come in
just below that average, while Lincoln County is well above the average at over 67%. Two out of
every three employers in Lincoln County employ fewer than four people. Conversely, Lincoln
County has just about the state average of 18% of its employers in the five to nine employee
category and a much lower share of its employers in the ten to forty nine employee size category.
These findings are identical to those from the region‘s 2002 CEDS report and are unlikely to
increase as large scale operations continue to decline in the region.
Housing in the Midcoast region has become increasingly less affordable as home values
increase much faster than earnings. This, combined with a marked increase in property taxes levied
by municipalities, has threatened to further exacerbate an already serious problem. The Midcoast is
an area valued by out-of-staters as an ideal location for a second home. Demand for waterfront or
near waterfront property has pushed property valuations in coastal communities, such as
Harpswell, well beyond the level of affordability for the average resident. This is demonstrated in
the following table.
Table 5 - Median Home Valuation in Relation to
Median Household Income in Midcoast Region 2000
Community/County Median Home Price Median Household Valuation per Dollar
Income of Income
Maine $98,700 $37,240 2.65
Brunswick $135,000 $40,402 3.34
Harpswell $162,500 $40,611 4.00
Lincoln $119,900 $38,686 3.09
Sagadahoc $110,200 $41,908 2.63
Source – http:/factfinder.census.gov – 2000 fact sheet
As indicated above, the affordability of homes in Lincoln County and the Towns of
Harpswell and Brunswick is considerably less than in Sagadahoc County and the State as a whole.
Harpswell is particularly affected as its valuation per dollar of income is nearly one-and-a-half
times the state average.
The population of the Midcoast region is, on average, more likely to have completed a
degree in higher education than in other areas of the state. A quick comparison of percentages of
those with a Bachelor‘s degree reveals the following.
Chart 9 - Percentage of Workforce with Bachelor‘s Degree or Higher - 2004
Source: Maine Department of Labor, Labor Market Analysis
5. Problems and Opportunities
As the previous sections outlined the regional profile, current challenges, and changing
demographic and economic conditions of the Midcoast, this section will highlight the potential
opportunities to the area, as well as the potential problems and obstacles to their fruition. The
central facts of the Midcoast region are
The demographic structure of the population continues to change
The nature of businesses within the region tend to be small in size, but innovative and very
adaptable to changing economic conditions
The region continues to be a desirable location to retire and vacation to, but its average
population continues to age as younger residents leave the area. This is consistent with
what is experienced in other regions of Maine as well
The closing of the Brunswick Naval Air Station (NASB) will have a significant impact on
the region‘s economy, housing, social services, transportation, education, workforce
development and the operation of local and regional government.
The region is a popular vacation destination, due, in large part to its natural beauty. This
identity must be maintained and conservation efforts must be carefully considered along
with those promoting development
2007 List of Problems/Opportunities/Recommendations
1. Expand availability of training programs for workers (and potential workers), business
managers and high school students
2. Recognize retirees and retirement income as fundamental and growing base industry
3. Address growing problem of affordable housing
4. Develop greater value from the tourist industry
5. Focus business creation and attraction efforts on the inter-industry connections(suppliers of
and buyers from) the marine research industry already established in the region and to the
Brunswick Naval Air Station
6. Assist small businesses to grow and survive
II. Issues and Opportunities for the Midcoast
This chapter discusses the economic and community development opportunities and
challenges facing the District. Part 1 provides an overview. Part 2 inventories relevant economic
development studies and plans. Part 3 summarizes past, present and future investments.
Part 1: Overview
A. Two economies coexisting together
Two economies coexist in Midcoast Maine. The first is an economy of small businesses,
serving local customers, paying relatively low wages. The second is an economy dependent upon
one major manufacturer, Bath Iron Works in Sagadahoc County, serving international customers,
paying high wages. BIW employs 5,800 workers – over a fifth of the jobs in Lincoln and
Sagadahoc Counties. The remaining 20,200 workers in these counties are employed by 2,600
firms (there is no information on business size for Brunswick and Harpswell).2 This is an average
of 7.7 workers per firm. Two out of three businesses in Sagadahoc and Lincoln Counties have four
or fewer employees.3
The difference shows up in wages. The average annual wage in Sagadahoc County, the
home of Bath Iron Works, is $36,300 (in 2006). This is higher than the state average of $33,200,
and well over the Lincoln County average of $27,200. In fact, the Maine Department of Labor
reported several years ago that if the BIW payroll was removed from Sagadahoc County, the
average annual wage in that county would drop by $3,000.
Two upcoming developments in the Midcoast economy, described below, make it critically
important to strengthen the performance and wages of the local small business economy in the
2 2006 annual data on covered employment, Maine Department of Labor
3 County Business Patterns, U.S. Census, 2005 data
B. Two short-term job challenges in 2010-2011
1. A lag in production and employment looming at Bath Iron Works
Twenty years ago, BIW employed twice as many workers as it does today. It is currently in
the process of winding down the production of the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class of AEGIS
destroyers for the Navy; two ships are scheduled for christening in 2008, two in 2009, and one in
2010. These will be the end of the production line for DDG 51 destroyers. The line is being
replaced by a new generation of combatant ships called the ZUMWALT (DDG 1000). In
February of 2008, BIW won a $1.4 billion contract to build one of the first two ZUMALT
warships. This ship is scheduled for delivery in 2014. While it is encouraging that BIW remains
competitive enough to be chosen to build the first of the new generation of Navy warships, there
remains a gap in production in their shipbuilding schedule. The last of the DDG 51 destroyers is
scheduled to ship out in 2010, and the first of the DDG 1000 ships is not scheduled for launch until
four years later, 2014. There is the potential for additional engineering and design work at BIW in
preparation for the new generation of ships, but this does not help the production workers. In the
meantime, BIW continues to invest in new facilities on the waterfront, including a $40 million
expansion of its 106-foot tall Ultra Hall, where ship sections are assembled. The leadership at
BIW and in the Maine‘s congressional delegation are working hard to find work to fill in the
production gap. If they are not successful, or are only partially successful, BIW may face a
significant employment decrease in the years after 2010.4
2. The closing of the Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB)
Unfortunately, just as this period of vulnerability for BIW arrives in 2010, the Naval Air
Station at Brunswick (NASB) next door is scheduled to close. The closure is projected to remove
around 2,700 active-duty military from the region, and eliminate around 600 civilian jobs, by the
year 20115. The Maine State Planning Office projects that the closure will reduce overall
employment in the Bath-Brunswick Labor Market Area to 5,500 under that which would otherwise
have been in 2011.
Together, the closing of the Base and the potential layoffs at BIW create the possibility of
severe job losses in the Midcoast region.
4 See The Impact of the BRAC-Ordered Closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station, The Coastal Counties
Workforce Board, 2006, pp, 28-9
5 See Understanding the Impact: Closing Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine State Planning Office, 2007,
C. Encouraging signs in the area economy
Even though BIW has declined in employment, the region as a whole has generally
maintained its overall employment. From 2001 to 2006, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties lost 500
jobs (about 2%), even while there was a net increase of 285 new businesses, or 12%. The latter is
a sign that the entrepreneurial economy is strong.
Boatbuilding and composite materials production in the area is strong and growing. In
East Boothbay, Hodgdon Yachts has completed a prototype 83-foot boat for the Navy that, if it
moved into production, could triple the yard‘s 80-employee workforce; and Washburn and
Doughty Associates has a backlog of orders for tugs, fishing, and research boats, and is looking for
land to expand. In Brunswick, Brunswick Technologies Inc., Harbor Technologies, and Allied
Composites, all are in an expansion mode. State government is actively helping this sector with
research and development activities and job training through the the North Star Alliance Initiative.
The retirement industry is strong. The area attracted a net in-migration of 3,300 people
between 2000 and 2006, most of whom are probably retirees. The Highland Green complex in
Topsham, Thornton Oaks in Brunswick, and St. Andrew‘s Village of Boothbay Harbor, are just a
few of the many retirement developments that have grown in the past ten years. Retirees have
brought with them new energy, income, and talent to the Midcoast.
The retail sector has also grown. With new shopping centers and stores in Topsham and
Brunswick, the Bath-Brunswick area has experienced a 25% increase in sales from 2002 through
2007, from $514 to $643 million. Currently Brunswick is looking at a $25 million investment in a
mixed use development downtown at the site of the old train station called Maine Street Station.
There is a growing interest in the creative economy up and down the Midcoast. There are
400 people employed in arts and entertainment in the Brunswick Labor Market Area, and another
214 in Lincoln County. The presence of Bowdoin College and new retirees both serve to foster the
growth of this sector.
Plans are underway to expand business park sites in Bath, Brunswick, and Topsham.
D. Long term challenges
The major challenge to the region is demographic. Planning Decisions, Inc., projects that
the region‘s overall population will be stable overall between 2005 and 2015 – going from 99,300
to 99,700 – but that it will change dramatically in composition. Specifically, the number of young
people under the age of 20 will decline by 4,700, or 20%; the number of working-age people (20 to
54) will decline by 3,300, or 7%; while the number of retirement-age people (55 plus) will increase
by 8,400, or 30%. In general, growth in income for area businesses, local governments, and the
state require a growth in the number of people working and producing products and services of
economic value. Attracting young people to move to the area and start businesses will be
important to the region‘s future economic success.
Chart 10 – Projected Population Change in Midcoast 2005-2015
Projected change in population, Midcoast Maine
Children Working age Retirees
Source: Planning Decisions, Inc.
It is hard to attract young people when housing is so expensive. Both Lincoln County and
the Brunswick labor market area communities have seen housing prices grow from around
$125,000 in 2001 to around $200,000 in 2005. During this same period, median household
incomes only grew about $3,000. Even though housing prices have stabilized in the last 18
months, they are still out of line with historical ratios to household incomes. This is an obstacle to
attracting young people to the area.
Table 6 – Median Homes Prices Brunswick LMA, Lincoln County 2001-2006
Bath Brunswick LMA Lincoln County
2001 2006 2001 2006
Median home price $127,850 $199,000 $125,000 $202,333
Median Income $44,472 $47,742 $41,516 $44,566
Affordability index 0.95 0.73 0.93 0.69
Source: Maine Housing
The region is also less attractive to young people because it lacks a significant public
higher education presence. The University and Community College systems have small programs
at the Midcoast Center for Higher Education in Bath. There is also a promising Maine Advanced
Technology Center that has just opened on Industry Road in Brunswick. Still, only 63% of
Lincoln County high school seniors, and 65% of Sagadahoc County seniors, planned to go to an
institution of higher education after graduation in 2005. This is lower than the state average of
70% that year – of whom, it should be added, only 60% statewide followed through and actually
Workforce skills and attitudes have traditionally been a concern for employers in the
region. The last survey of employers conducted in Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties (1999) found
many dissatisfied with workforce reliability and skills.7 This reinforces the importance of having a
strong continuing education presence in the region.
The availability of quality, reliable, affordable telecommunications and electrical service
has also been a longstanding concern among business people in the region.
Transportation access to the Interstate system is good for some communities in the region
in Sagadahoc and Cumberland counties, but generally poor for Lincoln County towns.
There is a lack of serviceable, accessible, available business park land in the area
according to local officials in several towns, and a Brunswick economic development analysis
done by Campbell and Associates. While there are proposals to add lots in many towns in the
area, there is also consideration being given to a regional approach like First Park in Oakland –
where communities come together, identify the very best spot for a business park in the region, and
jointly develop a first-class park there, sharing in both the costs and tax benefits.
E. The opportunities
7Business Park Demand and Economic Development, Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties, Planning Decisions
Inc., 2000, page 30.
The region has several major assets, three of which were highlighted by local officials participating
in discussions contributing to the plan, including:
Location—the region is near to Portland, Acadia, and Augusta. It is close to beaches,
waterfront, and rural areas. Proximity to other, more urban communities, offers access to
jobs and arts and music.
Quality of life—Brunswick was recently listed in a national magazine as one of top five
places to retire. It‘s also good for families.
Education—both K-12 and post-high school opportunities are a strength.
While the closing of Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB) creates a problem for the region, it
also provides assets.
The airport will make available a first-class facility for business service in the
The vacated housing, most of which is of recent vintage, will provide affordable
housing that could prove appealing to the young people that the region needs to attract.
The establishment of the Midcoast Redevelopment Authority, as well as the continuing
cooperation on the CEDS process, provides a regional framework and meeting place
to work together on the challenges facing the area.
Meanwhile, economic trends also present opportunities:
higher gas and food prices, combined with a greater consumer awareness of healthy
food issues, create opportunities for the local agriculture, fishing, and food processing
sectors to expand and create new products
the aging of the population creates additional markets for the expansion of the health
and the retirement industries in the area.
Part 2: Economic Studies and Plans
Part 2 includes summaries of two reports examining the impacts the scheduled closure of
the Naval Air Station at Brunswick in 2011 will likely have on the regional economy, and the base
reuse plans for both Brunswick and Topsham.
With regards to regional economic development infrastructure, it includes a report on
business park demand for Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties, a summary of the Maine broadband
development authority‘s annual report, and highlights from the 2005 regional transportation
Several communities in the Midcoast Maine Economic Development District have
economic development plans, and plans for the City of Bath, the Town of Topsham, the Town of
Brunswick, and the Town of Wiscasset are also described in Part 2.
In 2006, with funding from the Maine Department of Labor, Coastal Counties Workforce,
Inc. hired Planning Decisions, Inc. and Career Prospects to prepare a ―community audit.‖ A
community audit is ―an assessment of the relationships between an area‘s economy, workforce,
workforce training system, and community service system.‖ The report, entitled The Impact of the
BRAC Ordered Closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station: A Regional Community Audit,
focuses on the impacts the base closing will have on people: not only those who will lose their
jobs, but people who own businesses or work in the region.
The audit finds that ―the indirect effects of the Base closing on the region‘s schools,
housing, retirement sector, and labor force (i.e., loss of military spouses) may turn out to be greater
than the direct effects of civilian job loss.‖ Specifically, the report states:
In 2004, employment at NASB included 3,000 military; 1,400 reservists; and 700 civilians
(approximately 550 federal civilian employees; 100 contractors; and 60 private
When the Base closes, almost all of military personnel will leave. Most of the civilian jobs
will end when the base closes. Although some of the federal employees will relocate, and
some contractors and vendors will have opportunities elsewhere in their companies, many
will be looking for new jobs within the region.
For every civilian who loses his or her job, 2 additional civilian workers in the region are
expected to lose their jobs due to the loss of consumer spending. The military and civilians
and their families spend approximately $80 million a year in the local economy—about 7%
of taxable retail sales.
Total job loss could total 5,000, but will be spread out over the region which has more than
130,000 jobs. The regional economy will not contract, but growth will slow.
Area employers will lose 700 military spouses working in skilled jobs such as in health
The audit describes the Bath-Brunswick economy as strong, but not well-balanced.
Unemployment is low and incomes are relatively high, but the area is heavily dependent on a few
employers, including Bath Iron Works (BIW). BIW has gradually downsized its workforce, and is
down from 12,000 employees in the 1980‘s to 5,600 in 2006. Without BIW, the median income in
the region would drop from $33,000 to $29,000. There is concern over the possibility of additional
layoffs if there is a production gap in between production contracts. The region also has strengths
in the construction sector, in retirement housing, and in retail sales—but construction and retail
sales are both ―responders‖ to rather than ―drivers‖ of economic growth.
The audit describes both the strengths of and challenges to the Bath-Brunswick workforce.
It is younger and better educated than the Maine average, and workers have a demonstrated
interest in lifelong learning and continuing education. Low-cost housing will serve as an
additional attractor to young workers from Southern Maine to move into the area.
Research suggests that BIW workers and BNAS civilian workers have a high degree of
interest in retraining and trying new occupational fields; these workers could be an asset in
redeveloping the economy with up and coming sectors such as composites. But the
education and training systems will take a hit when the Base closes. The local public
schools will lose 10% of their students, and $1 million in school aid. Institutions will
encounter an increase in demand for retraining services at the same time they experience a
decline in budgets. The Brunswick Center of Southern New Hampshire University, for
example, will lose 30% of its budget and several key staff.
The Base closure may change the demographics of the region. Many young families will
leave, and may be replaced by an older population with fewer children.
Finally, the audit notes that the availability of land at the base; housing in the community; and
federal aid all offer significant long-term economic growth potential to the region.
In 2007, the Maine State Planning Office released a report examining the direct and indirect
impacts of the base closure through the use of the economic model, REMI (Regional Economic
Models, Inc.). The report, Understanding the Impact: Closing Naval Air Station Brunswick,
examines the total effect of the Base closure at the state level, without considering the mitigating
impacts of redevelopment.
The report states that the impacts of the Base closure will be felt most in communities
immediately adjacent to the Base and in communities where base workers live. The Brunswick
Labor Market Area (LMA), which includes Brunswick, Bath and Topsham, will bear the brunt of
the impact with roughly 85% of the employment and 75% of the population impacts.
The Brunswick LMA will have approximately 5,500 fewer jobs under the higher impact
scenario. 60% of these jobs are direct job losses; in addition, fewer jobs will be created
because of a slowdown in economic growth. For example, while some businesses may lay
off workers, others might not lay off existing staff but will hire fewer additional workers
during the transition period.
The most heavily impacted private sector industries will include retail, construction, food
services, and local government.
Population impacts of the Base closure will also be concentrated in the Brunswick LMA,
which will lose up to 5,600 people, or 7% of its forecasted 2012 population.
Based on its findings, the report offers the following guidance for helping the economy recover
following the Base closure:
1. Most of the direct impact will come from lost spending of households supported by Base
jobs, which underscores the need to repopulate the area with new households. The
availability of commercial and industrial real-estate and affordable housing will be
2. Without the base, the region will be more susceptible to economic shocks during the
recovery period, and it will need to leverage its assets to diversify its industrial base against
3. Studies show that most communities recover from major base closures, and some
experience long-term growth. But the transition‘s challenging for individuals, businesses
and communities with direct ties to the Base, and swift economic recovery hinges on early
planning, leadership, coordination of key stakeholders and full community involvement.
4. Redevelopment efforts must be cognizant of prevailing market forces and should capitalize
in the region‘s unique strengths and assets.
According to the Brunswick Naval Air Station Master Reuse Plan (Matrix Design Group,
2007), ―only 51% of the total base property has been allocated for development (approximately
1,630 acres); and, 49% (approximately 1,570 acres) of the base has been dedicated to a variety of
active and passive areas for recreation, open space, and natural areas.‖
The adopted base reuse plan includes the following land use districts:
Airport Operations (500 acres, 16% of total land area) includes the two existing 8,000-foot
long runways, taxiways and adjacent buffer zones
Aviation-related Businesses (230 acres, 7% of total land area) is an area dedicated
primarily to aviation-related business, industry, transportation and distribution, technology
employment and other uses that rely on, or directly benefit from, proximity to airport
facilities and operations; such uses could include general and corporate aviation, aircraft
maintenance / repair / overhaul, aviation related manufacturing, and government and
aerospace research and development.
Professional Office (120 acres, 4% of total land area) is an employment center serving
corporate and professional office needs of the area; primary uses in this district will include
administrative, corporate, and professional offices (e.g. law, medical, insurance,
architectural, engineering, finance, and real estate), and similar office uses.
Community Mixed-Use (175, 5% of total land area) is a centralized area that encourages a
compact pedestrian-oriented mix of community-related uses such as neighborhood-scale
retail, professional offices, business and support services, restaurants, hotels and
conference centers, health and fitness centers, day care centers, civic and cultural uses (e.g.
churches, libraries, and museums), parks, and government buildings.
Business and Technology Industries (190 acres, 6% of total land area) is a high-tech
employment center that will accommodate large scale technology uses, including
technology-based research and development, energy parks, laboratories, light
manufacturing, and warehouse and distribution uses.
Education (200 acres, 6% of total land area) includes university and college-level
academic, administrative and support facilities.
Residential (215 acres, 7% of total land area) includes a variety of housing types (single-
family attached / detached, multi-family apartments, assisted / senior housing, and
retirement / second homes) in a compact, pedestrian-oriented setting.
Recreation/Open Space (510 acres, 16% of total land area) provides areas for a variety of
commercial and public outdoor active and passive recreational opportunities such as public
parks, sports fields, golf courses, public gardens, bicycle trails, and equestrian facilities.
Natural Areas (1,060, 33% of total land area) is intended to preserve, maintain and enhance
existing natural areas; as such, only those uses that will not significantly alter the
environment and/or will provide opportunities to experience the environment will be
considered: pedestrian trails, nature and interpretive centers, environmental education, and
other non-intrusive outdoor passive recreation and educational uses.
The reuse plan notes that the transportation demands associated with redevelopment of the
facility, as well as the ability of the existing transportation systems to accommodate these
demands, are paramount considerations. Off-site and on-site capacity-related improvements in the
The creation of a new connector spur and interchange that will connect to US Route 1 west
of the present interchange at Cook‘s Corner
New secondary points-of-access onto the adjacent street systems at Bath Road / Gurnet
Road / Harpswell Road
New east / west connector linking Gurnet and Harpswell Roads
The widening of Bath Road
The creation of a new network of pedestrian / bicycle trails
The reuse plan finds that current operations at BNAS generate total employment of 4,863; total
annual wages of roughly $115,000,000; and an average annual wage of roughly $24,000. It
estimates (assuming a full build-out of the entire site over a period of 20 years) that the reuse will
generate total employment of 13,800 workers; total annual wages of $732,390,000; an average
annual wage of roughly $53,000; total annual income taxes of $40,849,000; and total annual
commercial and residential property taxes of $19,011,000.
The Topsham Annex facility opened in 1957 as the Topsham Air Force Station; when the Air
Force closed the radar facility, BNAS obtained use and responsibility for the property. Most
recently, the Annex functioned as a general support facility for BNAS and included 177 units of
base housing, a commissary, a training facility, office space, and a fire station. The 74-acre
Topsham Annex is now scheduled for closure along with the Brunswick Naval Air Station. The
Topsham Annex Reuse Master Plan (Matrix Design Group, 2007) describes the land use plan for
Zoning districts within the Town of Topsham include five categories: village, mixed-use,
commercial, industrial, and residential. The Topsham Annex is located in the ―Upper Village‖
zone which is one of the three village zones that generally make up the core of Topsham along
Main Street (Route 201). The overall goal of the village zones is to provide, enhance, and maintain
a dense, mixed-use pedestrian-scaled village ―feel‖ that incorporates a mix of
housing types, small retail establishments, and strict parking, design and landscaping guidelines.
The plan divides the Annex into four distinct areas, each with a separate land use:
1. Business & Community uses planned for the 14-acre Military Triangle area are envisioned
to include a mix of office, commercial, retail, light industrial, and other similar activities
that are consistent with adjacent uses, as well as community and civic uses, such as
governmental, cultural, human services, and educational functions that take advantage of
the proximity of the two schools and nearby residential neighborhoods
2. The Parks & Recreation area planned for the undeveloped portion on the western side of
the Housing Area is intended to provide a mix of active and/or passive recreation and open
space uses that are coordinated with and complement the adjacent athletic facilities owned
by SAD 75
3. The northern part of the Housing Area (north of Can Am Drive) has been designated for
medium-density residential uses: up to four residential units-per acre, whether those units
be renovated existing units or new construction. The housing in this area is envisioned as
single-family detached dwellings and/or two family (duplex) attached homes
4. The southern part of the Housing Area (south of Can Am Drive) has been designated for
higher-density residential uses: up to eight units-per-acre, whether those units be renovated
existing units or new construction. The housing in this area is envisioned as multi-family
attached housing such as apartments, town-homes, or condominiums.
The reuse of the Annex property will require improvements to infrastructure, including sewer,
water and stormwater systems, intersections and roadways, and metering systems for electricity
and natural gas.
According to the plan, reuse of the non-residential buildings at the site could create between
121 and 187 permanent jobs. In general, the redevelopment of the Annex could require between
$18 million and $40 million worth of investment. Overall, the business and commercial properties
are expected to require $3.7 million in investment, or about $53 per square foot. The tax base
generated by these facilities is expected to be between $70 and $100 per square foot, for an
estimated $4.7 million - $7 million addition to the existing tax base. The projected tax revenue
from residential redevelopment at the Annex is expected to be between $28.1 and $46.7 million.
This will depend on the overall value of the units created, which will likely be worth between
$125,000 and $250,000 each.
Redevelopment of the residential area in the Annex will also result in an increased permanent
population in the Topsham community. Topsham averages 2.6 people per household, so using a
reasonable estimate of 245 new housing units, the town‘s population could increase by 636.
Phone and cable companies have not expanded broadband service into many rural Maine areas
because there is no profit from such an investment. In 2005, 17,000 (14%) Maine households did
not have access to basic broadband service (Broadband Access Infrastructure Board Report, 2005).
ConnectME, Maine‘s broadband development authority, was created in 2006. It is funded through
a 0.25% surcharge on all in-state retail communications bills. According to the 2008 Annual
Report on the Activities of the ConnectME Authority , in 2007 ConnectME awarded $800,000 in
grants to expand broadband service to 50 communities (14,400 households and businesses). The
focus of the grants was on rural, unserved areas. One of the communities that received a grant was
Somerville, in Lincoln County.
ConnectME‘s 2008 Annual report describes 5 models for communities looking to access
1. community owned/operated
2. community initiative and partnership with provider
3. provider owned with community partner
4. private provider
The report states that over the past two years, broadband ―take rate‖ or market penetration in
Maine increased from 31%to 39%, an 8% increase (the term ―take rate‖ refers to the number of
people signed up for broadband service). In an effort to further encourage broadband service
expansion, Maine State Law 36 MRSA 2018 (passed in 2007) authorizes sales and use tax
reimbursement for machinery and technology for use in advanced technologies infrastructure.
The 2005 Regional Transportation Assessment (Midcoast Council for Business Development
and Planning) identifies the following major travel corridors in the
Midcoast Maine Economic Development District:
Route 1: Brunswick to Waldoboro
Route 24: Harpswell to Topsham with links to BNAS, Route 1 and I-295
Route 196: link between Route 1 and 1-295 and to Lewiston/Auburn
Route I-295: north and south Interstate highway
Route 27: Boothbay to Dresden, access to Route 1
Route 32: links eastern Lincoln County to the Augusta area
Region-specific issues/goals/broad priorities in the report include:
More people using the same roads
People moving from cities to rural areas, resulting in more frequent and longer trips to
work and shop
Higher rate of population growth on coast than in the rest of Maine
Insufficient planning—some communities with no long-range plans
Little public transportation
Increasingly elderly population
Strip commercial development that results in curb cuts, turning vehicles, reduced speed
limits and more accidents.
Little likelihood the state or municipal governments will have the resources to fix
problems caused by strip development and congestion
In 2007, Brunswick commissioned an evaluation of the three major economic strategies being
considered by the town in the face of the Base closure: 1) infill development in the designated
growth zone; 2) early conveyance of NASB property that would be suitable for business
development; and 3) the development of a new business park in West Brunswick.
The result of the evaluation, entitled Brunswick Economic Development Strategy (2007)
reports that early conveyance of BNAS property is not a viable option in the required timeframe,
and that infill development is important but not be enough to yield the desired job creation and
replace valuation loss. The report concludes that Brunswick needs to invest in a business park, and
should begin the process as soon as possible.
The report‘s market analysis of the opportunity presented by the development of a business
park includes the following:
Demand for additional industrial and commercial sites will likely be generated primarily by
expansion and relocation of small to mid-size companies located within the area
As Brunswick‘s remaining affordable sites have been absorbed over the past few years, it is
clear that the demand for sites is not being met
The availability of business park sites in the greater Portland area is rapidly diminishing.
The market data explains the success of Lewiston Auburn and Saco parks
Absorption analysis in the defined market area (Oakland to Biddeford) found that between
8 and 10 acres of business and industrial land will sell in Brunswick every year, and 7500
to 12000 sq ft of office space and 20,000 to 25, 000 sq ft of industrial space will be
absorbed. The report thus states that the total amount of average annual commercial
development that Brunswick can expect to absorb is between 27,500 and 37,000 sq ft.
Other findings in the report include:
Brunswick is strategically located as the gateway to the Midcoast region and near to both
Portland and Augusta
More people commute into Brunswick (15,660) than commute out (9,810)
Brunswick‘s population growth is stable compared to other regions, but is projected to
growth at a slower rate (3%) than other regions over the next 5 years
Its population has a higher percentage of both college-age and older persons (65 and older)
than other regions
The median household income is slightly lower than other regions
Brunswick‘s labor force has declined since 2000, in contrast to increases in other regions
Historically, the unemployment rate in Brunswick is higher than the surrounding area but
lower than the state; employment has declined 1% in Brunswick between 2001 and 2006
(most likely the result of BIW downsizing)
Despite recent job losses, the number of businesses has increased by 5% between 2001 and
Brunswick‘s strengths as indicated by its location quotient are in health care, educational
services, information, arts and entertainment, real estate, retail trade, utilities and the
accommodations and food service sectors.
Brunswick‘s weaknesses were in manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and
warehousing, and construction sectors.
These last two suggest that Brunswick would have more demand for commercial, flex
space or office type development as compared to more traditional industrial, warehousing
or manufacturing development
Three documents describe the town of Topsham‘s current economic development efforts. The
first, the 2007 Topsham Economic Development Study (Eaton Peabody Consulting Group and
Jeffrey Donohoe Associates) presents an analysis of Topsham‘s tax base. The study finds virtually
no land available for industrial use. Its recommendations include:
Increase non-residential uses, especially industrial: rezone for industrial, maintain retail
within a retail district, and create an industrial/business park zone to support 2 million to 5
million square feet of development
Invest in public infrastructure (sewer and water) near existing infrastructure; consider
establishing a connection between Route 201 and Interstate 295 in the northern portion of
the development core, and creating a service road west of I-295 (through the northwest
quadrant) to move traffic from Route 201 to the north and Route 196 to the south
Consider public-private investments, like Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIFs)
Align any new business and industrial site/park locations with Topsham‘s Military
Redevelopment Zone (part of the state‘s Pine Tree Zone program, the MRZ offers
qualifying businesses the opportunity to reduce or even eliminate state taxes for up to ten
years and includes areas in Brunswick, Bath, Topsham, Harpswell, Bowdoinham,
Richmond and West Bath).
Topsham Development, Inc. (TDI) is a public-private nonprofit organization comprised of
local business leaders and developers, residents and town officials. TDI leads many Topsham
economic and community development efforts, and concepts in its 2006-2007 Economic
Development Workplan include:
Identify locations and develop a strategy to implement a new business park
Establish an interchange at US Rt 295/ME Rt 201 to improve traffic movements along
Study town‘s industrial zone to identify whether this area will work as an industrial park.
Work to secure land necessary to establish an industrial park.
The goal of the Topsham Main Street Plan (2007) is a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use
village along Main Street.
In the Lower Village, the town should promote, and provide incentives for, mixed-use
In the Middle Village, residential and historic character should be preserved
Development in the Proposed Village Center (currently the Commercial Corridor) should
strengthen its mixed-use and village scale identity
Limited Industrial, Civic Mixed-Use, and North Main overlay zones should be created: the
Industrial to allow more flexibility for existing businesses while minimizing impact on
adjacent uses; Civic Mixed-Use as a pedestrian oriented zone that protects the integrity of
the school campus; and North Main as a transitional zone between Main St and the limited
The City of Bath is currently working on an economic development plan.
Bath Iron Works is the city‘s largest employer. The shipyard was recently awarded a $1.4
billion contract to build the first ship in the Navy‘s next class of destroyers, DDG 1000, or
Zumwalt; the ship is scheduled for delivery in 2014. Seven other DG 1000s are planned (Northrop
Grumman received the contract for the second). The new contract won‘t have an immediate effect
on the shipyard‘s workforce, but it is important for the program to remain on schedule to minimize
any production gap. With 5,800 employees, BIW remains one of Maine‘s largest employers, but
73 workers were laid off as recently as January 2008 (Portland Press Herald, 2/15/08).
Bath is currently considering an economic stimulus package designed to create jobs and
stimulate downtown development. The plan would set up TIF districts encompassing the
downtown, the Wing Farm Business Park, and part of a $40 million expansion at BIW. The
shipyard‘s TIF would not return money to the business but would instead be used by the city for
downtown improvements. The city will also consider issuing a $2 million bond to buy land to
expand the business park (MaineBiz, 1/29/08).
The Wiscasset 2006 Comprehensive Plan (amended 2008) summarizes several of the town‘s
recent economic plans.
Wiscasset is in a transition period from primary dependence on a single taxpayer to an era of
expanding and diversifying the tax base.
Maine Yankee closed in 1997. The Wiscasset Regional Development Corporation, established
in 2002, received a $1 million earmark for the site‘s redevelopment. In 2003, voters approved
spending up to $2.6 million to buy the land, build roads, and install utilities. In 2004, the town
applied for and received Pine Tree Zone designation, to qualify businesses that locate within the
zone for favorable state tax advantages. Today, the redevelopment of the 400 acre site includes a
high tech business/manufacturing campus; a marina, slips and boat storage; and high end condos
Wiscasset‘s Waterfront Master Plan (2002) recommends preserving the working waterfront.
The plan describes commercial fishing, including worm digging, as important to Wiscasset, giving
employment and contributing to the town‘s character. The plan makes two major suggestions
regarding new development:
In the village waterfront, new development should be small in scale; large-scale
development (including heavy commercial and light industrial) would be appropriate at
Mixed uses are appropriate between Main St, the Creamery Pier, and Town landing, and
ideal mixed uses would meet the year-round needs of residents and relate in some way to
the working waterfront (ie food stores, laundries and hardware stores)
Part 3: Investments
Part 3 summarizes part, present and future investments in the Midcoast Maine Economic
Development District, including highlights from the Maine Department of Transportation‘s
Biennial Capital Work Plan for FY 2008-2009 and a list of Community Development Block Grant
awards made in the region in 2006 and 2007.
The Maine Department of Transportation Biennial Capital Work Plan: Fiscal Years
2008-2009 lists projects designated for funding. Among the major projects for this region are:
Table 7 – Community Projects in the MCEDD Region
Community Location Description Funding
Harpswell Bailey Island Bridge Bridge deck replacement $9,962,575
I-295 North Highway resurfacing $5,846,500
Boothbay Barters Island Rd Bridge replacement $5,052,946
Harpswell Cundy‘s Harbor Rd Highway rehabilitation $900,000 *
Bath Rail Station Parking for rail station $500,000
Construction of A/C
Wiscasset Wiscasset Airport $300,000 *
parking apron for tiedowns
To expand Explore Maine
Regional Planning Study $250,000
Brunswick BNAS Redevelopment Transportation assessment $150,000
Wiscasset Wiscasset Airport Master Plan Update $150,000 *
Brunswick Safe Routes to school Sidewalks $70,000
Construction of lot near
Brunswick Park and ride $40,000
Wiscasset Wiscasset Airport Rotating beacon $25,000 *
* Local funding match required
Maine's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program ―provides funding and
technical support for projects that achieve local community and economic development objectives,
while principally benefiting low-moderate income persons.‖
In 2006 and 2007, twenty-one CDBG Grants were awarded to communities in the Midcoast Maine
Economic Development District. They were:
Community Year Description Grants/Loans
Storm Drainage improvements in
the PI Target Area composed of
Darrah Street area and the
Baker/Gardiner Street area.
Richmond 2006 Construction includes a cross $421,500
country line and railroad crossing
in the Darrah Street area and
improvements along the railroad
in both areas
Replacement of water lines on
three streets in scattered South
Bath 2006 End locations and replacement of $301,500
sewer on two of those three
Complete renovation of
Monhegan Plantation 2007 $300,000
Monhegan's only wharf
Bath 2006 Kennebec Tavern & Marina $300,000
Bath 2007 AMS LLC d/b/a Gagne Foods $300,000
The Business Assistance grant
Richmond 2006 funds will assist Naturally ME $201,800
with operating capital.
Continue feasibility study reuse
Brunswick 2006 $197,000
of Naval Air Station
Bath 2007 Marnee's Cookies $150,000
Business façade program with
Richmond 2007 $150,000
some streetscape improvements
Bath 2007 AMS, LLC dba Gagne Foods $100,000
Midcoast Council for Business
West Bath 2007 $50,000
Development and Planning
West Bath 2006 Tedford Shelter $41,000
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
to provide free admission/access
Boothbay 2007 $40,000
to gardens for LMI, elderly, and
Westport Island 2006 Historic preservation $15,600
Feasibility study to outfit a
Kronosport vehicle with solar
Wiscasset 2007 panels, in conjunction with $15,000
funding from the Chewonki
Expand program services of Big
Bath 2007 Brothers/Big Sisters for children $14,000
from LMI families
Bath and West Bath
Bath 2006 multijurisdictional feasibility and $12,500
planning study for the expansion
of Wing Farm Business Park.
Culinary arts/nutrition education;
Waldoboro 2007 $10,000
reuse of AD Gray School
To study the redevelopment of
Harpswell 2006 $10,000
the George J. Mitchell Field.
Lincoln County 2007 Lincoln County - CDBG TA $9,000
III. CEDS Goals & Objectives
Analysis of the original CEDS goals of 2002
The Midcoast Economic Development District‘s Economic Strategy Committee held four
visioning sessions throughout the summer and fall of 2007. Part of the Committee‘s charge, was to
analyze the Goals and Objectives of the 2002 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
document to see what, if any, changes needed to be made. Between 2002 and 2006, additional
goals were added to the MCEDD CEDS and while the fifteen identified goals seem to ably address
the economic and community development goals of the District, it was also thought that the new
five year plan offered an excellent opportunity to consolidate and update the old goals and present
them in a format that was both easier to understand and more concise.
The original goals as they appeared in the 2002 CEDS were –
Goal A – Grow Small Business Entrepreneurship
Goal B – Develop/Redevelop Commercial Property and Infrastructure
Goal C – Support and Strengthen Marine Related Industries
Goal D – Expand Research and Development Activities
Goal E – Expand Tourism Season and Strengthen Tourism Industry
Goal F – Strengthen Traditional Industries such as Farming, Forestry and Arts
Goals G – Build a Skilled and Educated Workforce
Goal H – Invest in City, Town and Village Centers
Goal I – Create Affordable Housing
Goal J – Create an Efficient Transportation Infrastructure
Goal K – Develop a Strong Telecommunications System
Goal L – Support and Capitalize on Targeted and Dominant Industries
Goal M – Coordinate/Strengthen Regional Capacity for Economic Development Planning
Goal N – Balance Development & Growth
Goal O – Support Health Care
Committee Discussion and Amendments to CEDS Goals
The first visioning session discussed the relevance and validity of each goal from the 2002
CEDS. All were seen as important and significant. However, it was determined that many of the
goals could be categorized under broader headings so that those close in purpose, scope and goal
could be grouped together. Research into the formats used by Maine‘s other EDD‘s in their CEDS
revealed that most had consolidated Goals, numbering no more than 4 or 5, with objectives listed
underneath each one that addressed specific ongoing or proposed activities. The Goals and
Objectives of these EDDs were analyzed at the visioning sessions as well to use for comparison.
Although no action was taken on modifying the goals during the first visioning session, the list was
given out to the Committee to review and members were asked to bring suggestions for changes or
amendments to the second meeting, where this would be discussed in greater detail.
The discussion of the consolidation of the CEDS goals continued at the second visioning
session. Through the suggestions and recommendations of Committee members and staff, a
working framework developed, comprised of four major categories. They are:
I. Community Development
II. Economic Development
III. Education and Workforce Development
The fifteen identified goals form the 2002 CEDS were then grouped under these headers
and in some cases slightly reworded. The final framework looked like this (original Goal letter is
listed in parenthesis) –
1. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Objective 1 – Invest in City, Town, and Village Centers (H)
The Midcoast region is fortunate to have many communities with vibrant downtowns. Main
Streets and village and town centers are an essential part of the region‘s attractiveness,
quality of life and tourism vitality. Several regional communities have already begun or are
developing plans to revitalize downtown areas. Many of them feature working committees
of volunteer citizens and are also members of the Maine Street Maine coalition, which
seeks to promote programs and initiatives that will improve town centers and support
business development, particularly small and locally owned operations. Many excellent
examples of these activities can be found in the MCEDD Actions & Priorities and
Objective 1a – Create Affordable Housing (I)
Affordable housing is an issue of great concern throughout the state of Maine, and in
particular, the Midcoast region. Year-round residents must now compete with wealthier
retirees and seasonal buyers for available housing. This has had the effect of pushing the
costs of homes out of the reach of those who are in greatest need. Affordable housing is
seen as a particular issue for young people, workers, people with disabilities and people of
modest incomes. Recognizing the severity of this problem, MCEDD has partnered with
local housing authorities, the Maine State Housing Authority and Habitat for Humanity,
among others to develop strategies and projects that address this need. The partners, in
addition to area home builders, also recognize the importance of utilizing the latest in green
energy practices in the construction of homes. The Midcoast region is poised to be among
the first areas in the state to incorporate these technologies in the creation of affordable
The availability of affordable housing is seen as vital in attracting, developing and
maintaining a diverse workforce from which area businesses may draw.
Objective 1b – Balance Development and Growth with Protecting Rural Character,
Natural Resources, and Traditional Communities (N)
The Midcoast region of Maine is home to some of the state‘s most magnificent beaches,
nature preserves, woodlands and other natural areas. Many of the area‘s local
economies rely on the dedicated stewardship of local governments, businesses and
citizens to preserve the balance between supporting economic activity and the
preservation of these unique and wonderful locations. Economic activities within and
among the MCEDD communities are focused along the principles of ―Smart Growth‖.
These principles encourage that these activities be consistent with what have been the
traditional strengths of the communities. Because so many of them have relied on
tourism (and more recently have seen a tremendous increase in eco-tourism activity)
the preservation of Maine‘s quality of place is more necessary now than ever in
ensuring this economic driver remains a force in local economies. MCEDD is fortunate
to have the services of two regional planners who work closely with member
communities to address issues, as they relate to this. By recognizing the delicate
approach necessary to balancing continued economic growth with protecting rural
character, natural resources and traditional communities and employing tactics such as
Smart Growth principles that address these issues, the Midcoast is well positioned to
meet this challenge successfully.
2. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Objective 1 – Grow Small Business Entrepreneurship (A)
Because there are a great variety of small business types in the region, the strategy to help
them must also be multi-faceted. Recent challenges experienced in the local economies,
along with more severe ones forecasted for the future, make it absolutely essential that
preventive strategies and programs be put in place that help minimize the impact current
and future economic downturns could have upon local and small businesses. For example,
the closing of the Brunswick Naval Air Base is predicted to remove 135 million dollars
from the local economy8. Many industry sectors identified as likely to suffer the most, such
as retail, construction and service/hospitality are ones in which the majority of businesses
are locally owned and operated. The offices of MCEDD are fortunate to employ the
resources and expertise of state and federal offices that assist business and economic
activity. These offices include the Small Business Development Center, The Procurement
Technical Assistance Center and the state‘s Department of Economic and Community
Development‘s Business Development Specialist. Other strategies include; assisting
family-owned businesses to work out ―succession‖ strategies, helping women-owned
businesses in building peer-to-peer networks, making available affordable financing and
expanding business services that support small business networks.
Objective 2 – Support and Capitalize on Targeted and Dominant Industries (L)
The last five years have seen the economic forecast for the Midcoast region shift
dramatically. Since the publication of MCEDD‘s 2002 CEDS, the Brunswick Naval Air
Base has been identified as a base the Defense Department will be closing, beginning in
2008. Once seen, along with the Bath Iron Works (BIW) as one of the more important
economic drivers in the region. The base will cease operations in 2011, necessitating a
swift and comprehensive reaction to mitigate any economic downturn. Several existing and
potential industries in the region offer significant promise to help in the recovery of the
local economy and some long-term advantages for the region have already been
recognized. Like many other areas in the state and country, the Midcoast region has seen
the decline of well-paying manufacturing jobs, as many of these operations have stopped or
Objective 2a – Strengthen Marine Related Industries (C)
8 Source: Maine Dept. of Labor, The Impact Realignment of the Brunswick Naval Air Station, 2005
Shipbuilding – With a 400 year history of boatbuilding in the Midcoast region, there
may be no more traditional industry than this. In addition to the large operations of BIW,
there also exist several small and medium scale boatbuilding operations that produce an
incredible variety of ships and bats. Recognizing this traditionally strong industry, the
state has enacted an initiative that seeks to expand the scope and operations of these
businesses and develop industry clusters to capitalize on internationally recognized
industry dominance in this field. Several of these companies have been awarded
lucrative, long-term contracts that will require that they expand their current operations.
The State‘s North Star Alliance program, developed to identify and grow regional
clusters, recognizes shipbuilding, along with composites technology and precision
manufacturing, as a vital industry cluster in the region.
Composites – The emergence of the composites industry in the Midcoast region could
very well prove to play a huge role in the future of the regional economy. Advances in
composites technology, such as the closed molding process, have enabled it to be used in
many capacities previously unexplored. As new markets and uses are found for
composites, the need for workers to help these businesses keep pace with demand is
expected to grow significantly. Composites technology is also a complimentary sector to
shipbuilding and other marine manufacturing, which will serve to strengthen those
industries as well and make them more competitive.
Objective 2b – Expand Research and Development Activities (D)
The Midcoast region has seen significant progress made in the expansion of research &
development facilities. Along with higher education and workforce development, R&D is
seen as one of the most important economic development tools and the presence of
research labs, such as Jackson Labs in Boothbay Harbor and the Advanced Composite
Training Center in Brunswick exemplify this focus. This region will be further helped on
the state level, as a bond in November was approved by the voters, making available funds
for the expansion of R&D activities in this region and others.
Objective 2c – Expand Tourism and Strengthen Tourist-Related Activities (E)
With a variety of natural attractions, a rich cultural history, excellent dining and
accommodations as well as a burgeoning arts scene, the Midcoast region is poised to attract
visitors from around the world and during all seasons. MCEDD‘s activities in this capacity
are greatly supported by the regional Chambers of Commerce, who work diligently to
actively promote this region to potential visitors. There is no argument that the Midcoast
region relies on tourism related activities as much as any other part of Maine for its local
economies. Efforts in the region will continue to focus on increasing the level of tourism
activity and its season.
Objective 2d – Strengthen Other Traditional Industries such as Farming, Forestry, and
Arts and Crafts (F)
While many of these traditional industries have been on the decline, some of them have
recently leveled off and in some cases, reversed trends of loss. The protection and
expansion of these sectors of the economy are seen as vitally important to preserving the
Midcoast ―quality of place‖, making this economic objective very closely tied in with the
Community Development goal of 1b as well. Several of these traditional industries have
been identified as being very suitable for cluster development. Businesses in these sectors
have traditionally been important sources of income and employment in the area.
Marketing and promotion are needed to keep these businesses viable in the future.
Objective 2e – Support Health Care (O)
The in-migration of retirees to the Midcoast region has dynamically changed the
demographics of the region. Perhaps the industry most likely to experience a significant
demand on its services is health care. This event, coupled with ever increasing costs and a
shortage of health care workers creates potential issues regarding effective availability and
delivery of services. Consolidation efforts among neighboring hospitals, undertaken in an
effort to address these concerns have been successful thus far. MCEDD will be working
closely with officials from this sector to ensure that issues such as cost, workforce
availability and deliver do not disrupt this most essential of community services.
Objective 3 – Coordinate and Strengthen Regional Capacity for Economic
Development Planning (M)
The last five years in the Midcoast region of Maine have seen significant progress made in
the strengthening and coordinating of economic development planning in the region. 2002
saw the MCEDD region submit its first Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
to the Economic Development Administration and its subsequent recognition as Maine‘s
sixth Economic Development District. Since that time the Midcoast Council for Business
Development & Planning (referred to as the western office in this document), the regional
economic development office for the towns of Brunswick, Harpswell and Sagadahoc
County and the Lincoln County Economic Development Office (referred to as the eastern
office), the regional economic development office for Lincoln County have worked
diligently to promote the programs and activities outlined in the CEDS.
A MCEDD Board of Directors, comprised of representatives from all aforementioned
communities and counties, effectively coordinates the economic and community
development activities of the region through its Executive Committee. MCEDD has been
awarded a planning grant by the EDA for the last two years, which has allowed the offices
to greatly increase its involvement and scope of activities in the Midcoast region. Strong
leadership on the Board and tremendous cooperation among local municipal and county
officials has encouraged tremendous progress recently and MCEDD has identified a
number of regional economic development projects that it will submit to the EDA for
The current state administration has heavily emphasized taking a regional approach to
economic development and the western MCEDD office hosts one of several Business
Development Specialists from the state Department of Economic & Community
Development who are stationed throughout the state.
The synergistic effect of these efforts will likely allow MCEDD to deliver its programs and
services with even greater effectiveness and assist communities, businesses and
organizations in need more than ever before.
3. EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Objective 1 – Build a Skilled and Educated Workforce from Preschool to Adult (G)
Perhaps the greatest hindrance to solid long term economic development is the lack of an
educated, diversely skilled workforce available to new or existing businesses from which
they may recruit their workers. Spouses and family of military personnel assigned to the
Brunswick Naval Air Base, comprise a significant portion of the Midcoast regional
workforce. Their presence is particularly strong in education, health care and other
professional services. These industry sectors continue to grow at a rapid rate, necessitating
that a framework for workforce development and training be put in place that will supply
these operations with new workers to keep pace with increased demand as well as replace
those likely to be lost. MCEDD has worked closely with the Coastal Counties Workforce
Board, to meet this challenge. Other regional partners include the Midcoast Center for
Higher Education, the Advanced Composites Training Center and Women Work &
Educational opportunities must be made available to the region‘s graduates that will
provide them with the necessary skills to enter the workforce and contribute to the local
economy. Additionally, lifelong education and workforce retraining programs must be in
place for people of all ages looking to re-enter the workforce or transition from one
industry to another.
MCEDD is also a strong supporter of the State‘s Opportunity Maine program, a first-in-
the-nation tuition reimbursement program that offers workers or their employers tax credits
to be applied to help pay off student loans. MCEDD sees the value in these and other
programs and views education and training as two of the most essential economic
development tools available.
Objective 1 – Develop and Redevelop Commercial Property and Infrastructure (B)
The region has a number of properties and facilities currently unused, some of them of
considerable size. The renovation and successful marketing of these properties to
businesses looking to relocate to the region could potentially play a significant role in the
economic development and job creation efforts of the region. Many of these locations offer
opportunities for several businesses of similar sectors to ―cluster‖ together and further
develop identified specialty industries in the region. However, proper renovation and
aggressive marketing of these sites are essential to business expansion taking place in these
There is also significant need for the development of new business parks for the region as
well. Several communities in the region are exploring possible development of such
facilities, either separately or in partnership with neighboring communities. These efforts
are also representative of a regional philosophy which recognizes the need for cooperation
and combined efforts in the area when it comes to economic development, and more
specifically, business attraction.
Objective 2 – Create an Efficient Infrastructure of Transportation (J)
The region lacks a major highway, a major public airport and passenger rail service
currently. It also suffers from tourist seasonal traffic jams. However, efforts are under way
to address these and other transportation issues facing the region. Efforts to address the
road congestion and road quality issues are already under way in the Route 1 communities,
who have been working with the State‘s Department of Transportation on a major bypass
project. The feasibility and cost of passenger rail service expansion from Portland north to
Brunswick is already being considered. The proposed reuse plan of the Brunswick Naval
Air Station includes plans for a regional airport of significant size. Some of these proposed
solutions (such as bypass roads) would have major environmental and aesthetic impacts. It
is important that the region develop a comprehensive approach that encourages the use of
alternative transportation modes. MCEDD has partnered with organizations dedicated to
such efforts, such as Coastal Trans and hopes to expand public transportation and its use to
Objective 3 – Develop a Strong Telecommunications System (K)
Like many other regions in Maine, the Midcoast faces challenges in improving and
expanding its telecommunications system. The lack of high speed internet, for example, is
seen as a significant barrier, not only to businesses seeking to relocate to the region, but
also to locally owned operations that are dependent upon such technology to identify and
tap into national and international markets. A strong investment in improving the
telecommunications available would send a strong message to business that the Midcoast is
serious about making this region technologically competitive with others.
The Economic Strategy Committee felt that the four major pillars would serve as the major
categories for the 2008 CEDS document, with the specific objectives for each listed below.
The final format, as seen above, was unveiled at the fourth and final visioning session. The
Committee agreed that this was a marked improvement upon the former model and more
consistent with those used by the other Maine EDDs. The consolidation and reorganization
of the CEDS Goals and Objectives will improve the operations of the MCEDD district by
creating a more efficient organization of the goals and objectives for the region as a whole.
IV. Community and Private Sector Participation
1. The CEDS Visioning Committee
The process of authoring the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) was a
multi-stepped endeavor that benefitted greatly from the work of the CEDS Visioning Committee.
The Committee was comprised of leaders in both the private and public sector, representing a vast
array of interests, sectors of the economy and social issues and concerns. Four meetings were
scheduled, beginning in June of 2007 and were facilitated by Planning Decisions Inc.. Some
members of the Committee were members of the 2002 group, which had put together the District‘s
first CEDS, but many were new.
Meeting 1 – June 26th West Bath
The first meeting concentrated on explaining the CEDS and its importance in developing and
implementing a region-wide economic development strategy, as well as giving an overview of the
region‘s demographics, geography and economic status. The meeting focus then shifted to
discussing the unique character and qualities of the Midcoast region, the economic drivers and
where the committee envisioned the Midcoast 5-10 years from now. The meeting concluded with a
request that Committee members consider who was missing from the meeting that should be
brought to the table.
Meeting 2 - August 21st Bath
The second meeting began with the Committee focusing on drafting a Vision Statement from
which to refer to as work continues on drafting the CEDS. Different statements were presented to
the Committee and the editing process began. Participants worked diligently to rework and edit the
language of the proposed statements to craft one comprehensive statement that was representative
of the region.
The second focus of the meeting was to analyze and discuss the Goals from the 2002 CEDS that
had served as the platform for all MCEDD activities. These, along with a Projects List were
submitted to the Committee to review and comment on for the next meeting. Participants were
asked to email to MCEDD staff a project description form, detailing any projects not included on
Meeting 3 – September 11th, Wiscasset
Meeting number 3 began with a discussion regarding revisions made to the proposed Vision
Statement. The Committee worked paragraph by paragraph to make necessary changes. The
second order of business had the group revisiting the Goals presented at the second meeting. The
Goals were consolidated under 3 main pillars. The group agreed that further work would be
necessary on this subject and turned their attention to the Projects list. A master list was compiled,
based upon the project forms submitted and the existing projects already mentioned.
Meeting 4 – September 25th, Wiscasset
The final of four meetings was held intended to adopt a final visioning statement, agree upon the
Goals and review the final project list. The group identified four pillars and reorganized the
existing goals, with some modifications. Clarifications and amendments were made to several
projects listed. Challenges facing these projects were discussed in detail (financing, real estate
etc.). The Committee agreed that work upon the CEDS would be ongoing and those on the
Committee were invited to continue their efforts going forward.
The mission of the CEDS Visioning Committee was achieved. A diverse panel of participants
worked diligently and collaboratively to craft a comprehensive vision statement, relevant and
inspiring goals and objective and a detailed list of community projects of all scale and scope.
It is hoped that these efforts will be reflected in the final document. Their efforts are greatly
appreciated and this Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy would not have been
possible without their efforts.
2. CEDS 2007 Visioning Committee Member List
1) Ann Angell - Miles Hospital*
2) Hank Berg – Taction*
3) Rudy Graf - The Science Source*
4) Bo Gallop - Morris Farm
5) Cerina Leeman - Damariscotta Chamber
6) Jen Merritt - Waldoboro Business Association*
7) Mary Bowers - Great Salt Bay Sanitation District
8) Erin Cooperrider - Community Housing
9) Marianne Pinkham - Senior Spectrum
10) Wynn Levine – Independent*
11) Lynn Thompson - Watershed Ceramics*
12) Diane Walsh - Waldo Theatre
13) Dr. Sandy Sage - Bigelow Labs*
14) Laura Honey - Fishermen's Wharf*
15) Steve & Maureen Hassett – Custom Composites Technology*
16) Steve VonVogt – U.S. Windblade*
17) Jim Howard - Priority Group*
18) Harriet Mosher – Five Rivers Arts Alliance
2. CEDS 2007 Visioning Committee Member List (continued)
19) Dan Daggett - Bowdoinham Federal Credit Union
20) Joe Byrnes - Holiday Inn, Bath*
21) Mike Bourret - Coastal Counties Workforce Incorporated
22) Kristi Eiane - Harpswell Town Administrator
23) Kelly Ellsworth – Habitat for Humanity
24) John Wasilseki – The Highlands*
25) Steve Levesque – BLRA
26) Rick Emery – Sunnybrook Village*
*denotes private sector. As per EDA guidelines, Committee must be 51% private sector.
V. Suggested Projects
Project Description Location/Lead Jobs
Organization Duties/responsibilities Created
CEDS Planning Grant – Region wide/MCEDD Apply, administer and
EDA funded district implement grant, all reporting 1 FTE
grant to update and duties
Brunswick Business Town of, Determine location for proposed 350 +
Park park, feasibility etc.
Infrastructure for I-295 Town of, TBD TBD
Wing Farm Industrial Bath, West Bath Continued expansion of park. 300+
Park Expansion, West
Topsham Technology Town of, Proposed high-end business park 350+
Enterprise Park for the town.
Topsham Lower Village Town of, Town efforts to redevelop
Revitalization downtown area.
Etonic Mill Richmond Ongoing redevelopment of Mill
Redevelopment Property. 2 current tenants, with
(RBMC) another proposed.
Redevelopment of Town of Waldoboro Ongoing assistance to
Osram Sylvania Facility Prospective Business Relocation;
Commercial Real Estate Package
available (map, site)
Project Description Location/Lead Duties/responsibilities Jobs
North End Kennebec Bath, City of TBD TBD
Waterfront (2 Town
Prototype Shipbuilding Bath, City of TBD TBD
Bath Downtown Bath, City of TBD TBD
(Prawer Block & Coal
Boothbay Rte 27 Sewer Town of Boothbay; Re-group for Town Approval
& Water Extension to Boothbay Region Water
Boothbay Industrial District
Bath Downtown Water City of, TBD TBD
Master plan for Maine Town of, Town continues with 250+
Street Station in development of this multi-use
Family Focus Building Bath TBD TBD
Damariscotta Town of Damariscotta,
Downtown Damariscotta Planning
Revitalization Advisory Committee,
Project Description Location/Lead Duties/responsibilities Jobs
Restoration of Historic The Alewife Initiative,
Fish Ladder Towns of Newcastle and
Regional Bikeway & Bath, Brunswick, Proposed multi-community bike TBD
Walkway Plan Topsham path.
Business facade Bath TBD TBD
Elm and Front Street Bath TBD TBD
Rehab of Fort Andross Brunswick TBD TBD
Update Topsham Main Town of, TBD TBD
Street Vision Plan
Waterfront Performing Topsham TBD TBD
Business Rte. 1 Sewer Town of Damariscotta, Survey Work to be done to None
Extension Great Salt Bay Sanitary determine applicable funding directly.
Point East Maritime Point East - Natural Marina slip work in process; No
Village and Mason RE/sources/Wiscasset anchor boat company at this
Station Dock & Rail point; Village real estate still
Restoration being developed
Project Description Location/Lead Duties/responsibilities Jobs
Mitchell’s Field Harpswell Town has developed re-use plan TBD
Redevelopment for property, including housing,
light commercial and
Harpswell Housing Harpswell TBD TBD
Waldoboro River Walk Waldoboro
Culinary Institute at Waldoboro Culinary Arts Commission feasibility study on TBD
former AD Gray School, Project Citizen center for culinary arts and food (5-25)
Waldoboro (Waldoboro Committee, Town of entrepreneurship, negotiate
Downtown Waldoboro around disposition/fate AD Gray
Redevelopment or other viable site if study data
Project) prove feasibility or project;
identify funding, implement
Waldoboro Waldoboro Conceptual Phase
Environmental Business Environmental Business
Sea Street Water Main Boothbay Region Water Oversight of implementation (to 8
Project District/Dirigo begin this fall)
Mostly Maine Project Edgecomb COMPLETE – This has been
acquired by Bintliff and turned
into an annex of the restaurant –
for cooking shows to be taped
East Waldoboro Town of Waldoboro, Concept Stage
Business Park, Rt.1 Lincoln County
Project Description Location/Lead Duties/responsibilities Jobs
MaineHealth Hospital Maine Health/Miles Combined facility not underway
(Miles Memorial-St. Memorial Hospital and St. at this time; Nursing School to
Andrews expansion) Andrews start in September of 2008
Bowdoinham Arts Town of, Community led effort led effort TBD
Center to establish arts center in town
Bowdoinham Farmer’s Town of, Seasonal farmer’s market in TBD
Richmond Façade Grant Town of, Town led effort to improve upon TBD
business facades in downtown
Allied Composites Town of, Center has opened and it TBD
Center, Brunswick offering classes currently
Land for Brunswick’s Town of,
Rt 1 Corridor to BNAS Regional Proposed infrastructure TBD
Brunswick Rt 1 Master Town of, TBD TBD
Gateway 1 Region wide/DOT, Ongoing
Whitefield Town Office Town of, Reviewing Funding Sources None
Project Description Location/Lead Duties/responsibilities Jobs
Expansion commuter Regional TBD TBD
Holbrook Wharf, Town of, TBD TBD
Welcome Center Regional TBD TBD
Chocolate Church City of Bath, TBD TBD
MDOT Infrastructure MCEDD Region TBD TBD
Lincoln County Scenic LCEDO, LC Planning Convene corridor committee, 0 direct;
By-way develop route, develop and perhaps
submit proposal to MDOT collateral
over the long
term due to
VI. Vital Projects, Programs and Activities
Projects Source of Priority
Farm to School Program- Lincoln County has Businesses A
pioneered an effort to make local, fresh food available
in the public school system and to educate children Grants
about good nutrition and the importance of farms in our Schools
communities. Farm to School will continue to work
with local farms to increase direct purchase foods in the CDC
cafeteria, and in March there will be a statewide farm to
school conference in an effort to expand and replicate
the program throughout Maine.
Maritime Culture Initiative- The Lincoln County Pending A
Economic Development Office is working with Maine
Maritime Museum, CEI, and the Tourist Board to
spearhead a maritime culture initiative. This initiative
will coordinate the efforts and activities of those
preserving Maine‘s maritime culture along the coast in
order to promote cultural heritage tourism, highlight
maritime and related history, and support present-day
marine/maritime industry sectors. A grant proposal has
been submitted to Preserve America to support initial
marketing and media development.
Cultural Heritage Map- The creation of a cultural County A
heritage map for Lincoln County will encourage
tourism based on local history and resources. Town
historical societies will coordinate to designate
important landmarks and buildings for inclusion in the
The Alewife Initiative- Red Door Media has produced Unknown A
Closing the Loop which documents the cultural,
ecological, and economic importance of the alewife
fish ladder in the Damariscotta Mills. Construction to
restore the ladder began in 2006.
Culinary Arts and Food entrepreneurship Initiative CDBG, state A
– A study of the viability of developing culinary arts planning grant,
education and a food entrepreneurship center is Town, local
underway in Waldoboro business
Damariscotta Planning Advisory Committee Orton A
Maine Street Station, Brunswick – This project was Private A
scored highest in the EDA project review meeting, held investment,
by MCEDD in spring of 2007. This multi-use complex, EDA,
to be located in Brunswick‘s downtown will include other funds
retail, commercial and residential space, as well as a
train station for the expanding passenger rail service.
This project seeks to remediate and redevelop acreage
in the downtown,
Wing Farm Industrial Park – A multi-municipal Private A
project between the Town of West Bath and the City of investment,
Bath, Wing Farm will begin an expansion this year. TIF,
The park is marketed towards companies offering high CDBG,
paying skilled jobs to the region‘s workers. The
communities are preparing an EDA application.
Brunswick Business Park – This park would host Private A
technology companies offering high paying skilled jobs investment, ,
to regional workers. The park would attract companies TIF,
within industries identified as cluster industries in the EDA
Etonic Mill Redevelopment, Richmond – The CDBG, A/B
ongoing redevelopment of the mill has attracted its Private
third company to the property and will offer high wage investment,
jobs to regional workers. Additional expansion TIF
opportunities exist as well.
Mitchell Field Redevelopment, Harpswell – The TBD B
town has developed a reuse plan for the property that
includes housing, light commercial and recreational
uses. Harpswell is currently looking into funding
opportunities for the project.
Topsham Technology Enterprise Park – The town is EDA, B
in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that Private
would develop a high tech business park, that would investment
provide high paying, skilled jobs to regional workers. other
VII. Economic Clusters
The establishment and growth of industry clusters has been recognized by local, state and
federal economic development organization‘s as a key strategy in improving and expanding
economies, both locally and regionally. Capitalizing on industries that have been traditionally
strong and dominant in the Midcoast region, MCEDD hopes to further develop these clusters,
while actively promoting new and emerging clusters that may show significant promise in the
future. This section will serve to give an overview of these clusters and detail what is being done to
promote their expansion.
Regional clusters typically share attributes that make them identifiable to developers. In
recognizing existing and potential clusters in the region, MCEDD referred to these criteria.
- Are of large scale, involving numerous companies within a single industry or several
closely related industries
- Have a strong presence in regional, national or international markets
- Feature a well developed industry infrastructure; this can include major companies,
plants or facilities, supporting industries, suppliers, transportation networks, etc.
- Possess a large well trained labor force with specialized skills that provide competitive
advantages to the region
- Support institutions, including educational institutions, research facilities, extension
services and trade associations that actively strengthen the industry and make it more
- Feature strong networks and in-depth industry knowledge within the industry,
supporting institutions and related professional industries such as law firms, accounting
firms, insurance firms and financial institutions
Industry clusters with these attributes are also characterized by high degrees of innovation,
with new products, processes or services being introduced at a relatively rapid rate. Competition
between firms within the cluster is high, with the result that these firms are more competitive in
larger national and global markets.
Capitalizing on existing clusters to help in developing complementary clusters is a key
component in the long-term economic strategy of the region.
Existing Clusters in the MCEDD Region
Recognizing the importance of pro-actively addressing the anticipated economic issues that
will arrive with the base closing, economic developers in several communities within the MCEDD
region came together to develop long-term strategies that could be employed to strengthen local
and regional economies, offset the projected economic downturn from the base closure and
creative a business environment that would be viewed as an attractive location to companies
looking to relocate, expand or initiate operations. These discussions led to the formation of an
official alliance of communities. A central component of this strategy would be the recognition
that inter-local agreements between communities must exist to prevent them having to compete
against each other for businesses and jobs. This approach is undeniably progressive for a part of
the country long known for its independence and reluctance to embrace regionalism.
The mission of this Alliance is to approach cluster development, and economic
development from a regional perspective. The four stage process, adopted from the EDA‘s Cluster
Based Economic Development: A Key to Regional Competitiveness called upon these economic
development officials to assess both their communities and the region as a whole to identify
industries which may be seen as having the greatest potential for cluster development.
The list that follows details those clusters which are seen to be dominant and/or emerging
in the region. The Alliance has already begun the process of identifying ―stakeholders‖ for these
respective industries and will be enlisting their support in future efforts of determining a
The Midcoast region has long been recognized as one the nation‘s leading location for
composite technology and manufacturing. The Town of Brunswick has been actively
developing its composites cluster for quite some time and actively recruiting private
companies, as well as educational institutions to relocate to the region. In 2007, the Southern
Maine Community College, in partnership with the town government, private industry and the
Maine University System, opened the Maine Advanced Technology Center (MATC). The
Center offers classes to both new and incumbent workers in the composites industry, relying on
the latest technology in the industry, producing a highly skilled workforce, available to
companies. There exits a very strong link between this cluster and that of boatbuilding.
Although not all boatbuilding operations employ the use of composites, those who do enjoy the
significant advantage of an internationally recognized industry sector in their own ―backyard‖.
The development of the composites cluster in the Midcoast region has seen rapid
acceleration as new technological advancements in the industry have significantly expanded
uses and applications for composites. Once fairly limited to boatbuilding and other marine
related activities, developments in materials and the emergence of the ‗closed-molding
process‘ have allowed innovative companies within the region to develop products in markets
previously unexplored. With a demonstrated buy-in and investment from local, regional and
state government, as well as educational and training centers being opened by higher education
institutions, the region is well poised to build on its international reputation for composites.
Job growth in the composites industry holds great promise for replacing the high wage jobs
in the region that were lost in recent years. The table below demonstrates this and while it
indicates that total employment in the sector is down, the region and state have seen growth,
both in wages and number of establishments that far outpaces the national averages for this
Table 8 - State, National Figures for job growth, establishments and wages 2001-2005
MAINE Total Private Sector
2001 43,232 81
2005 45,189 90
2001-05 % change 4.5% 10.6%
2001 496,432 1,447
2005 495,554 1,297
2001-05 % change
Average Annual Wages
2001 $ 28,397 $ 28,744
2005 $ 32,106 $ 36,247
2001-05 % change 13.1% 26.1%
2001 1.00 1.76
2005 1.00 1.73
2001 7,733,520 2,850
2005 8,308,128 2,799
2001-05 % change 7.4% -1.8%
2001 109,321,800 180,636
2005 110,634,500 167,651
2001-05 % change 1.2% -7.2%
Average Annual Wages
2001 $ 36,159 $ 49,021
2005 $ 40,499 $ 54,547
2001-05 % change 12.0% 11.3%
Source: Battelle analysis of BLS QCEW data from IMPLAN, Policy One Research Inc.
Note: Figures in Red denote specialized industry location quotients. Figures in Blue denote positive employment growth
during the 2001 to 2005 period.
2. Marine Trades/Boatbuilding
The shipbuilding industry in the Midcoast region has seen significant expansion and
contraction within the industry over the past several years. Layoffs at the shipbuilding
operation Bath Iron Works, also the region‘s largest employer, represent the contraction felt in
the industry. A reduction in contracts, combined with increased competition from international
shipbuilding operations, has led to what many in the industry view as a permanent scaling back
of operations at the facility.
However, on a whole, boatbuilding in the region is doing rather well. Wooden
boatbuilding operations in the region are experiencing unprecedented growth. Demand for
smaller vessels, yachts and other pleasure craft have necessitated that many companies search
for suitable real estate for expansion. Two local companies in particular, boatbuilders
Washburn & Doughty and Hodgdon Yachts have had to deal with the logistical issues of
expanding their facilities to meet increased demand from customers.
While boatbuilding operations have traditionally been a fractured group, new technology
and the outreach efforts of the State‘s North Star Alliance to provide funding for training, offer
great potential to these companies. However, it is important that these operations who use
employ composites in their manufacturing process embrace the new closed-molding process to
be in compliance with Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards, set by
the EPA and Maine‘s Department of Environmental Protection.
While the availability of suitable real estate to expand operations is certainly an issue of
huge concern to these operations, a second but equally important once would be the presence
of skilled and trained labor pool from which to gain new employees. There are concerns among
smaller operations that money spent on training employees only makes these workers more
enticing to larger operations. However, there is little argument that the knowledge and
application of new and emerging technologies in the industry is essential to future growth and
A weak U.S. dollar has led to increased interest among foreign boatbuilding operations,
particularly in Europe, who are looking to contract out certain elements of their boat
production. Operations which already possess the capability and capacity for handling such
enormous contracts, will be well poised for continued growth well into the next decade.
3. Precision Manufacturing
While manufacturing jobs continue to decline, both nationally and locally, significant
opportunity exists for companies in the precision manufacturing sector. The Maine Advanced
Technology Center (MATC) offers students and existing workers training in complex precision
manufacturing trades, such as precision metalworking. The program is the first of its kind in
the state, and represents an investment on the part of Maine‘s higher educational system in
training workers for jobs in high growth industries.
The educational and training opportunities offered at the MATC could bode very well for
local operations looking to expand and also be deciding factor for companies considering
relocation. The availability of a trained and adaptable workforce, combined with successful
efforts at developing technology and business parks in the region could play intrinsic roles in
growing this niche cluster in the coming years.
4. Food production
The Midcoast region is well known for its diverse agricultural aquacultural and specialty
foods operations. Farmers in these communities produce high quality produce, meat and dairy,
whose reputation has driven demand. Small scale and specialty operations produce a wide
array of products; baked goods, wine and beer, gourmet foods, among others. It is these high
quality offerings which help to give Maine its ―label‖. Whether unique to their region or
simply a better made product, these goods have found markets both nationally and
internationally. Maine and the Midcoast region are fortunate in that their geographic location
almost enables the finished products to market themselves.
The potential for expansion in this industry cluster is enormous. Many of these operations
are complimentary in nature given that much of what is produced by local farmers, fishermen
and others are ingredients in many of the specialty foods produced by local companies.
Innovative programs in the region, such as the Farms-to-Schools operation, which links local
food producers with local school districts, has not only opened new markets, but has also
improved the diets of schoolchildren as well. Several MCEDD service center communities are
also popular tourist destinations and thus, are perfect conduits for making these products
available to vacationers from around the world. These markets can be maintained and even
expanded through a collaborative and focused marketing campaign that utilizes the internet to
continue to reach these consumers.
5. The Creative Economy
The definition of the term ‗Creative Economy‘ is nebulous and ever-changing. Regional
leaders have used this term as an umbrella to include all arts (visual, music, writing, theater
etc.), craft production (furniture, specialty items, toys, etc.) and tourism, among others. These
industries have a long and well established tradition in the region and unique arts and crafts
economies have played an intrinsic role in making the Midcoast region on of the most traveled
to destinations in Maine. Historically comprised of single person or very small scale operations
the Midcoast arts community has greatly benefitted from the establishment of the Five Rivers
Arts Alliance, which promotes the arts of the region and advocates for their consideration in
economic and community development endeavors.
The continued growth of the arts community and tourism in the Midcoast are dependent
upon each other and, therefore inextricably linked together. It is tourism activity that has
traditionally brought customers to the shops, studios and performance halls of local artisans.
Conversely, it is the high quality merchandise and performances showcased, that has helped to
develop a strong tourism industry for the region as a whole. Promotion of the Midcoast region
has always stressed the unique physical beauty of the region and its charm. The arts
community has always been very representative of this notion, but now also finds itself, with
the marketing power of the internet, to be able to be able to reach an international audience that
does not necessarily have to physically go to the Midcoast to experience the Midcoast itself.
6. Green Energy/ Construction
The emergence of renewable energy technology and energy efficient construction and
building practices will play a huge role in the future of economies of all scale. Rising energy
costs, increased environmental awareness and concerns over pollution have motivated both the
private and public sector to take a serious look at the development of new energy practices
which are sustainable and cost effective. This is particularly true in the northeastern U.S. where
skyrocketing oil prices have strained household, business and public sector budgets to the
breaking point. Energy costs are significantly affecting the economy and with no relief in sight,
companies must look towards renewable technologies. New England also possesses the oldest
housing stock in the country. Many of these homes have insufficient insulation and heating and
cooling systems, consequently making them more expensive. As this housing is replaced, an
opportunity to employ highly energy efficient construction techniques and heating and cooling
systems will become the industry standard, driven by consumer demand.
The impetus for serious study into the practicality of alternative energy and green
construction practices is driven by state initiatives aimed at reducing the state reliance on
foreign oil. Potential energy sources within the state, such as wind, solar, wood and bio-
diesel hold great future promise, but must have investment from the private sector to truly
make a significant impact.
The Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority‘s plan for the redevelopment and reuse of
the Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS), identifies the development of renewable and
alternative energy as a key component of the plan. In fact, the Plan allocates a specific location
for a Renewable Energy Park, which could prove to be an attractive location for research and
development companies in the industry.
Consistent with those figures found in the composite industry, while the overall
employment numbers for the Environmental Services and Alternative Energy field are down,
wages are up as indicated in the table below. Growth in the number of establishments is
consistent with national figures, as average annual wage figures.
Table 9 - State, National Figures for job growth, establishments and wages 2001-2005
MAINE Total Private Sector Environmental Services
& Alt. Energy
2001 43,232 252
2005 45,189 264
2001-05 % change 4.5% 4.8%
2001 496,432 1,877
2005 495,554 1,743
2001-05 % change -0.2% -7.1%
Average Annual Wages
2001 $ 28,397 $ 38,078
2005 $ 32,106 $ 42,511
2001-05 % change 13.1% 11.6%
2001 1.00 0.87
2005 1.00 0.81
2001 7,733,520 35,273
2005 8,308,128 37,262
2001-05 % change 7.4% 5.6%
2001 109,321,800 474,414
2005 110,634,500 480,458
2001-05 % change 1.2% 1.3%
Average Annual Wages
2001 $ 36,159 $ 47,682
2005 $ 40,499 $ 53,613
2001-05 % change 12.0% 12.4%
Source: Battelle analysis of BLS QCEW data from IMPLAN, Policy One Research Inc.
Capitalizing on the strength and synergistic qualities of existing clusters in the
Midcoast region, MCEDD and regional partners will continues to grow and develop
these industries while identifying new and emerging clusters as well. Proposed
technology and business parks, along with the future redevelopment of the naval air
station, will play a significant role and facilitating growth and expansion in the region.
The further strengthening of relationships between regional education entities and the
business community will allow the Midcoast to train and produce a workforce capable
of helping to increase economic growth. The implementation of these programs and
projects, along with a strong collaborative relationship between communities will go a
long way towards minimizing and even preventing the economic downturn forecast for
VIII. Plan of Action
CD 1 – Invest in City, Town, and Village Centers
Work with the Waldoboro Business Association and local businesses and retailers to take
an historic inventory of downtown Waldoboro for recognition and renovation; creating a
River walk tourist destination for arts and creative economy development.
Working with Boothbay Harbor Opera House on Phase II of a CDBG for historic
Working with Town of Damariscotta for survey to complete necessary preliminary work for
infrastructure rehab on Business Route 1.
Topsham continues its focus on developing more of a village center. Projects include: the
recent completion of a new town hall, a river walkway and amphitheater.
Begin construction in Maine Street Station (Maine St. Station – 250 new jobs,
Support City of Bath in its efforts to develop waterfront and revitalize sections of its
Support the City of Bath in its efforts to implement a business façade improvement program
using CDBG grant funds.
Support Town of Brunswick in its efforts to develop a master site plan for the Maine Street
Train Station, which may also include the development of a train station for commuter
and/or passenger rail service.
Support Town of Topsham in updating its Maine Street Vision Plan and developing a
master plan for the 100-acre parcel on Interstate 295.
For Lincoln County downtown revitalization, please see Goal A, where systematic business
retention and expansion strategy is outlined.
CD 1a – Create Affordable Housing
The CEI Housing Department and local housing authorities will work to foster housing
creation along with job creation.
Habitat for Humanity to complete 1 home in Brunswick, 1 in Bremen, 1 in Bowdoinham
and begin construction on 1 duplex in Bristol. Rehab projects on five homes of low income
families will also begin.
Habitat for Humanity plans to open a recycling/retail store, where building materials and
furniture can be donated, salvage, restored and sold inexpensively to help support the
housing construction program.
Tedford Shelter will continue working on two supportive housing projects, Evergreen
Woods in Bath, for families and Everett Apartments in Brunswick, for single adults,
construction will start in fall 2006, to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2007. Projects
to be occupied by June-July 2007. Backed by combined funds of 2,621,496 from HUD,
Maine Housing, and private sources, the projects will provide many jobs to the local
economy during their construction phase and contribute 14 units of new affordable
permanent housing stock to the areas housing resources upon completion. Brunswick
Housing Authority will provide eight (8) project-based subsidies to the Everett site to make
the housing affordable. Tenant based subsidies will be used for the same purpose at the
Tedford will hire a facilities manager to be completed by September 2006. Funding for this
position comes from a CDBG grant submitted on Tedford’s behalf by the Town of W. Bath.
Progress will continue on two initiatives that will assist homeless citizens of the Mid Coast
in achieving stability and engaging in the community.
Tedford will start a Family Mentoring Program - Will provide a mentor to homeless,
recently homeless, or at-risk households. The mentor will be a volunteer, trained to support
and be a listener to those in need and may be able to provide skill building basics in the
areas of budgeting and other daily living skills. The program is a collaboration of the
Brunswick Area Interfaith Council (BAIC), Tedford Shelter, and Sweetser. Funding sources
will be sought to fund a part-time coordinator for the program. We hope to serve the first
households in the fall of 2006.
Tedford will start a Supportive Employment program – Tedford has been leading a
Supportive Employment round table that is developing a residential supportive employment
model, based on the Lodge concept developed by Dr. George Fairweather. The program, if
operated, will provide supportive housing and jobs to formerly homeless persons who have
had significant barriers to maintaining steady employment in the past, often as a result of
mental illness. Participants in the planning include; Tedford Shelter, Sweetser and the Bath
Career Center. Funding mechanisms to kick off a pilot project are currently being explored
with potential start-up planned for 2007.
CEI intends to work with communities, non-profit organizations and private developers to
support the development of affordable housing as opportunities arise in the Midcoast area.
CEI continues to mobilize capital to invest in affordable housing development.
The Brunswick Housing Authority will be developing a 15 unit single family home
subdivision in the Town of Harpswell.
The Brunswick Housing Authority will sell a 50 unit family rental complex in an area that
is a prime location for commercial development and use the proceeds to purchase 50 units
of NASB housing scattered throughout Topsham and Brunswick.
The Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority (BLRA)will be very active in the creation
and support of affordable housing in the region. They will be working with the Department
of Housing and Urban Development to assure acceptance of the homeless public benefit
conveyances and legally binding commitment proposals for Brunswick and Topsham.
CD 1b – Balance Development and Growth with Protecting Rural Character, Natural
Resources, and Traditional Communities
Through Farm 2 School, Maritime Heritage, Geo Tourism
Develop and expand the Androscoggin River Bike Path from Brunswick to Topsham and
Bath in order to complete this regional bikeway/walkway linkage.
The Town of Brunswick is planning to implement smart growth principles for Maine Street
Station and for rural Brunswick.
Promote region’s rural character and sense of place through Artscape (regional arts
calendar), Five Rivers Arts Alliance website, and other communications.
Community Housing Coalition – working to create awareness about housing needs in
region and to provide education on local tool for supporting affordable housing. May hold
some sort of public session in Fall 2008
Sagadahoc Region Rural Resource Initiative – will continue to promote the conservation of
open space in the 12-town MCBDP region. Conservation Blueprint to be published and
shared with towns in 2008-2009. Public event likely in Fall 2008. Intend to promote
protection of farmland and woodlots.
(MCBDP staff) Participate in.and promote Gateway 1 Strategic Plan for Route 1: plan to
be developed by end of 2008. State and towns to sign MOUs to implement plan.
(MCBDP staff work with towns to )Undertake three discrete pedestrian planning projects:
- Plan for a walkable village and school in Bowdoinham
- A Walk to School plan in another town
- Scope out converting gas pipeline corridor in Harpswell to a trail
CEI administers the state’s Working Waterfront Access Program and Farms for Maine’s
Future Program, two programs which provide targeted assistance to natural resource
industries with a goal of preserving rural character and traditional industries.
The Town of West Bath will participate in Sagadahoc Regional Rural Resource Initiatives
The Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority’s (BLRA) Reuse Master Plan calls for
setting aside close to 1100 acres of land on the NASB property designated as a natural
areas district in order to preserve, maintain and enhance existing natural areas for the
overall long term benefit of area residents and the natural environment. Only those uses
that would not significantly alter the natural environment and/or would provide
opportunities to experience the environment would be considered, including pedestrian
trails, nature and interpretive centers, summer camps, environmental education and other
non-intrusive outdoor passive recreation and educational uses.
MRRA has submitted applications to the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) and Economic
Development Administration (EDA) to conduct a feasibility study for the envisioned
Renewable Energy Center. We are requesting $200,000 from each agency and will provide
cash and partner match in the amount of $355,000.
This study will provide a strong model of the feasibility and economics of a distributive
energy park for co-generation, district heating and cooling energy delivery. This could
serve as an important model and prototype for the state and region.
Work with the Navy on conveyance issues including, an economic development
conveyance and an airport public benefit conveyance through the Federal Aviation
Administration at Brunswick.
ED 1 – Grow Small Business Entrepreneurship
Work with, CEI, Small Business Development Center, Maine Centers for Women, Work
and Community and other service providers and expand the Creation/Expansion and
Retention outreach program visiting with local businesses for assessment and training and
The Maine SBDC @ CEI intends to continue to provide free business counseling to new
and existing businesses in the MCBDP service area at or above levels achieved in the past.
The Maine SBDC @ CEI expects to see the BusinessFirst model grow and mature and
result in the better provision of business counseling services to the MDBDP service area.
Support the newly opened Brunswick Composite Training Center.
Establish Allied Composite Manufacturing Center.
Continue to train and find space for the creative economy worker/owner.
Expand the MCBDP Alliance for the region.
Maine Centers for Women, Work & Community (WWC) will offer Microenterprise training
and Technical Assistance. Offerings include:
- Art to Business: Building the Business Side of your Art – two
sessions – target - 20
- New Ventures business plan training – target 15
- Introduction to Business – 4 – 6 sessions target – 25
- Business to Business Networking – 9 meetings
- Special topic workshops delivered via distance learning – 3 sessions
- Individual consultation/assistance – 45 entrepreneurs
Support the State’s North Star Alliance initiative, which offers support to composite,
boatbuilding and precision manufacturing companies in the region.
SCORE will conduct free counseling sessions for those interested in starting a small
business and for those in business and in need of assistance. Weekdays, 9 – 12.
Score will also hold low-cost workshops covering How to Start A Business, Writing A
Business Plan, Marketing and Sales, Buying A Business, and Web Marketing. Weekly.
Five Rivers Arts Alliance will publicize training opportunities for artists, entrepreneurs
and small businesspeople. (especially Women, Work & Community, Maine Business Works,
Chamber and CEI classes and resources)
Southern New Hampshire University-Maine will continue to provide specific coursework in
entrepreneurship and small business management in an evening format accessible to
working people, including small business owners.
ED 2 – Support and Capitalize on Targeted and Dominant Industries
Through the Farm 2 School program, WIRED/Composites/Boat building collaborative,
Waldoboro River walk initiative.
MCBDP will serve on the newly established Governor’s Advisory Council. This Council
will act in an advisory capacity and will serve as an additional means for communication
and collaboration between local and statewide interests as it relates to the re-use of the
Naval Air Station in Brunswick.
Support the efforts of the Midcoast Boatbuilding Alliance to expand economic
opportunities and capacity for boatbuilding in the region in order to create a viable and
sustainable industry cluster.
ED 2a – Strengthen Marine Related Industries
Continue to Work with Maine Department of Tourism, Maine Historic Society, Maine State
Historic Preservation and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. and help facilitate creating a
designation commission and development plan for a Maine Maritime Heritage Area.
Support local municipalities and the maritime industry in identifying and accessing
economic development funding for maritime activities, such as the Mason Station Dock and
Rail Restoration in Wiscasset and the proposed marine railway supported by the Town of
Boothbay and Hodgdon Yachts.
Participation in the North Star Alliance Initiative program.
Through a contract with the Maine SBDC, CEI is delivering targeted technical assistance
to composites and marine-related industries through the North Star Alliance.
Coastal Counties Workforce Inc. is a partner in Maine’s North Star Alliance Initiative
(NSAI). CCWI’s main NSAI activity is acting as a conduit between marine trades
businesses and education providers to assist employers access a pipeline of skilled workers
and connect employers to education and training opportunities for their current workforce.
NSAI efforts will continue for at least one more year as part of the WIRED grant.
Following the completion of the WIRED program, CCWI will work with the larger NSAI
steering committee to continue many of the employment and training efforts targeted to
marine related employers.
In addition to participation in the NSAI initiative, CCWI is also supporting the marine
trades industry through a partnership with the Southern Maine Community College
(SMCC) at the Brunswick Advanced Training Center. Thanks to a 2.2 million dollar grant
awarded by the United States Department of Labor, SMCC opened MATC provides
composite, precision manufacturing technical training to entry level and new workers as
well as industry professionals. The Center will support 100 companies and 2,500 workers.
CCWI saw the grant as primary building block for establishing new resource and
opportunities in the region.
The Southern Maine Community College’s Bath campus will expand its course offerings at
the Maine Advanced Technology Center in Brunswick for composite applications in the
boatbuilding and other related industries.
ED 2b – Expand Research and Development Activities
Redevelop the Times Record into a training center (Composite Training Center – 40 new
jobs, 1.1 m).
Develop last two lots of Business Park into a composite manufacturing center (Allied
Composite Manufacturing Center $5.3m).
Expand research capabilities of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Southport
Island through development of an Ocean Sciences Research and Education facility on its
65-acre site in Boothbay Harbor.
Small Business Innovation and Research program through the Maine SBDC at MCBDP.
The Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority (BLRA) will develop a plan to create a
northeastern center of excellence for an integrated R&D, manufacturing, testing, business
incubation and productive operation of green energy technology products and services.
ED 2c – Expand Tourism and Strengthen Tourist-Related Activities
Work with Opera House, Waldoboro Downtown and River walk, and Maritime Heritage
collaboratives to develop destinations.
Continue to support the Midcoast Chamber Council in its efforts to promote the region as a
year-round tourist destination, such as regional website development and extensive
ED 2d – Strengthen Traditional Industries such as Farming, Forestry, and Arts and
Continue to work with local farming communities, foodservice businesses, local school
districts, Healthy Maine Partnership, and local culinary establishments with Farm to
School project initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture, consumption of locally grown
food, culinary education initiatives, food security and distribution to food pantries.
Convening a statewide stakeholder gathering, to develop Farm 2 School initiatives in
other communities throughout the State.
Five Rivers Art Alliance (FRAA), will sponsor a publicity writing workshop (led by
Charlene Williams through Maine Tourism Office) to help artists and entrepreneurs
improve their own publicity skills. One of the biggest challenges identified by the
creative industry was the need for increased promotion. As a result of the forum series,
FRAA plans to improve marketing and publicity for the arts & cultural sector in the
midcoast region through:
- Develop and publish a replacement for the Bath-Brunswick Cultural Map & Guide.
- Work more closely with the Chamber and with the Office of Tourism to promote
regions creative assets.
- Improve Five Rivers website as a resource for the region’s creative sector (and
improve resources and as a resource for opportunities, workshops, business
training, etc. for artists).
- Explore additional marketing opportunities that would benefit the region’s creative
sector, including cooperative advertising opportunities, representation at trade
shows, other publicity opportunities.
- Improve Five Rivers core programs.
- Continue to meet and collect feedback from the sector.
- Use Artscape (regional arts calendar) as means to promote local cultural
event/destinations to residents visitors
- Work with Office of Tourism, other cultural nonprofits to promote region’s cultural assets
through cooperative avenues
- Improve core programs: ArtWalks, Arts Downtown & All Around, Family Arts Festival,
Arts Nights at the Library that promote local artists and appeal to visitors.
ED 2e – Support Health Care
Continue to support healthy lifestyles, and good nutrition through the Farm 2 School
program expansion statewide and through collaboration as a regional partner in peer
exchange for “Farm” issues.
Continue to support health care providers in the region in their efforts to maintain a
healthy workforce and work with local communities in the development of assisted living
In 2007, Miles Health and St. Andrews Hospital will undertake a feasibility study following
the Summer 2006 announcement of their proposed merger and listening sessions to gather
community input into the process. LCEDO will work with Great Salt Bay Sanitary District
and Miles Health to support placement of infrastructure needed for proposed hospital
merger and assisted living facility, including access to EDA/CDBG funding.
ED 3 – Coordinate and Strengthen Regional Capacity for Economic Development
Continue to work with local and regional planning boards, town managers and selectmen,
Chambers of Commerce, CEI, MCEDD partners, EDA, DECD, DOT, DOE and non-profits
to procure and allocate necessary resources to promote the identified economic clusters:
composites/boat building, food production, creative economies and green construction.
Support the efforts of the NAS Brunswick and Topsham Local Redevelopment Authorities in
their efforts to develop a base reuse plan.
Continue to facilitate the MCBDP Alliance in its efforts to work together to increase
economic opportunities and to market the region as a great place to do business. The
committee representatives are members of municipal and regional economic development
agencies, real estate developers, commercial realtor, and non-profit community
Provide support to the Town of West Bath’s newly created business/economic development
committee as they begin to develop strategies to address economic issues and identify
Review and modify existing quantitative measures for this goal to develop a more
representative measurement to demonstrate accomplishments.
Lincoln County’s economic development office will continue to partner with DECD,
MCBDP (through MCEDD), and continue to help public and private sectors, lend support
to grassroots and municipal planning and economic development initiatives to maximize
regional capacity, assisting with fundraising and strategic operation.
EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
EWD 1 – Build a Skilled and Educated Workforce from Preschool to Adult
Working on a feasibility study for the establishment of a culinary arts education centered to
be housed at the A D Gray school in Waldoboro; tying in with Farm 2 School -- early
education through to certificate programs, resulting in the promotion of culinary-related
employment and business ventures.
Working with DOC, DECD, Wired/Composites coalition and local businesses to develop
and expand training and skills building in the boat building industry.
Support the Brunswick Advanced Composite training center.
Work to expand Family Focus’s public pre-K beyond Phippsburg Elementary to other
school within RSU #47.
Complete planned activities related to Kellogg foundation grant. Explore possibility of
creating cooperative structure to benefit child care providers and develop a business plan
for its implementation.
Complete the renovation project at 2 Davenport Circle facility.
Strengthen University College’s efforts to continue to attract local scholarship support.
Outreach efforts will focus on partnering with local business and non-profits to attract
local workers to higher education opportunities.
LCEDO will continue to help Healthy Kids! (HK!) expand its presence and secure funding
to expand and innovate programming.
Women, Work & Community will offer workforce development trainings throughout the
coming year and include:
- 2 sessions of Financing Your Future (money management training) – target 20
- 2 sessions of Career Planning – target 20
- Individual assistance as needed (107 individuals were served in FY 07)
- Job search, resume workshops planned throughout the year, often in partnership
The University College of Bath Brunswick’s work plan includes the following activities:
- Efforts will continue to attract local scholarship support. We have just received notice of
$15, 000 of funding through the Davenport Fund to support scholarships for local Bath
area residents. We applied for funding through the Morse High School Scholarship Fund
but are application was not successful this year. We will reapply in the next year.
- Outreach efforts will continue focus on partnering with local businesses and nonprofits to
attract local workers to higher education opportunities.
- A University College at Bath/Brunswick advisory board will be recruited.
- We will increase promotion of the Maine Aspirations Program through distribution of a
new brochure to local high school juniors and seniors and their parents. This program
provides early access to college study to qualified high school juniors and seniors.
- We will collaborate with the local college transitions programs to provide a seamless
access to prospective college students who are in need of increasing academic skills prior
to beginning college.
Southern New Hampshire University-Maine will continue to provide courses leading to
associate, bachelor and masters degrees and certificates in business and management that
are affordable, accelerated and held in an evening format that is convenient for working
Southern Maine Community College’s course offering at the Maine Advanced Technology
Center in Brunswick for composite application
The State of Maine has received a grant from the U. S. Department of Labor’s Employment
and Training Administration to retrain workers targeted as being vulnerable to losing their
jobs in the wake of the closing of NSAB. The focus of the grant is to develop a demand
driven workforce development strategy with significant involvement from business and
industry. Key partners for this effort include; Maine Department of Labor, Maine
Department of Community and Economic Development, TechMaine, Information
Technology Association of America, Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, IBM and
Coastal Counties Workforce. Long term accomplishments of this collaborative approach
- Attracting IT outsourcing to Maine
- Increase viability of existing IT companies in Maine
- Improve workforce skills to meet existing and future IT demands
I/T 1 – Develop and Redevelop Commercial Property and Infrastructure
Work diligently with local town officials, commercial real estate brokers and local business
association to redevelopment the Osram Sylvania plant.
Continue to support local municipalities and private businesses in identifying and
accessing economic development funding for commercial property and infrastructure
projects, such as the Brunswick Business Park, the Richmond Business and Manufacturing
Center, Maine Yankee I Park and the Topsham Fair Mall as listed in the CEDS Project
Begin redevelopment of the Atrium into a commercial center to compliment Cooks Corner.
$15 million dollar project, resulting in 135 new jobs.
Explore potential for creation of a Pine Tree Zone for MCEDD service area; which would
Assist Richmond with the implementation of a downtown TIF district.
Continue to support local municipalities and private businesses in identifying and
accessing economic development funding for commercial property and infrastructure
Administer and promote the newly created Military Redevelopment Zone program for the
Redevelop Washburn Lumber property.
Bath has developed a comprehensive Capital Improvements Plan. Activities include:
- A $500,000 project to improve the area in the downtown from the Railroad
Station to the Sagadahoc Bridge. This will include parking and safety
improvements. Pathways, landscaping, pedestrian-scale lighting, and other
- Planning for a riverside pathway along the Kennebec in the downtown. This is
programmed as a $25,000 planning study.
- Planning and feasibility studies ($20,000) pertaining to the former YMCA building
located in the downtown. The study is design to determine if the building is suitable
for rehabilitation, but if not how best to dismantle it, making the site suitable for
- A $2,000,000 project to expand the Wing Farm Business Park.
- Planning and final design for a roundabout at the State Road – Congress Avenue
- Landfill cell expansion and gas mitigation.
- Sewer pump station upgrades.
- Richardson Street and Western Avenue street, sewer, and water improvement.
The Town of West Bath will continue to work in partnership with the City of Bath to
develop the Wing Farm Industrial Park.
I/T 2 – Create an Efficient Infrastructure of Transportation
Work in process as a member of a newly formed coalition to move forward with efforts to
enhance the mobility of local residents as a result of the Community Transportation
Association of America having selected our region as a site for transit planning.
Working with the Town of Damariscotta to rehab portions of the water and sewer
infrastructure on Business Route 1.
Continue to support the Maine Department of Transportation’s Gateway One project, a
comprehensive study on how to preserve Route 1 from Brunswick to Bucksport, through
data collection, steering committees, workshop and meeting logistics and information
dissemination through e-mail and newsletter activities.
Continue to provide transportation planning services to local municipalities through
MCBDP and Lincoln County Planner in the form of access management technical
assistance and education and technical assistance for the transportation elements in
municipal comprehensive plans.
Expand the regional needs assessment for the Mid-coast region in partnership with the
Maine Department of Transportation. The assessment seeks to identify strategic
investments for the Mid-coast region.
Support the Town of Topsham in developing a connecting corridor between Route 201 and
Route 196 to migrate current and anticipated future traffic problems at a retail complex
and the commercial district on the west side of Interstate 295, so as to enable further
Continue to provide transportation planning services to local municipalities through
MCBDP and Lincoln County Planner in the form of access management technical
assistance and education and technical assistance for the transportation elements in
municipal comprehensive plans.
Solicit funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop an Airport Master
Work with the Maine Department of Transportation to develop a transportation
improvement plan for Bath Road and access to and from the base and US Route 1 in
Brunswick and improvements to the intersection of Route 201 and 196. Work with the
Maine Department of Transportation to plan for the funding, permitting and construction
of highway, road, sidewalk and public transportation improvements related to the
redevelopment of BNAS in Brunswick and Topsham, including, but not limited to Mill
Street, Pleasant Street, and the Topsham by-pass.
I/T 3 – Develop a Strong Telecommunications System
Coordinate/broker services of SBDC’s e-commerce technical assistance.
Continue working with telecommunication providers and local communities to address
barriers to effective communication throughout the region.
Review and modify existing quantitative measures for this goal to develop a more
representative measurement to demonstrate accomplishments.
MRRA has been asked to partner with the State of Maine and its workforce and technology
partners for the successful implementation of the Workforce Investment Act Grant from the
US Department of Labor. Our goal is to increase the viability of existing information
technology (IT) companies in Maine and attract those businesses that are expanding to
locate in Maine and perhaps on the base property. To accomplish this goal we are
proposing to conduct the following tasks as part of this project:
- Task 1: IT Infrastructure and Site Analysis at NASB - Conduct a survey of the broad
ban capacity and advanced information technology systems at NASB that could
serve civilian IT network needs.
- Task 2: Inventory of IT Business Opportunities. Utilizing the information from
Task I and working with the Maine Department of Labor and the Technology
Association of Maine determine the business opportunities to attract information
and technology businesses that could capitalized on the IT infrastructure already in
place at NASB.
- Task 3: Identification of Potential IT Technology Businesses. Given the business
opportunities identified in Task II, work with the Maine Department of Labor and
the Technology Association of Maine to evaluate the attractiveness of Maine and
the mid coast region to host IT technologies businesses at NASB.
- Task 4: Survey of IT Businesses. Utilizing information from Task III,
survey those firms and determine the feasibility and interest in locating an
operation at NASB.
- Task 5: Implementation Strategies. Develop a strategic plan with specific
tasks and a timeline to attract and locate IT businesses to the base.
IX. Performance Measures
I. Community Development
CD1 – Invest in City, Town and Village Centers
Number of efforts started or on-going that addressed revitalizing downtowns.
CD1a – Create Affordable Housing
Number of communities involved in addressing affordable housing issues in the region.
5 –8 (excellent)
CD1b – Balance Development & Growth with Protecting Rural Character, Natural
Resources and Traditional Communities
Number of State approved Comprehensive Plans.
5 – 10 (excellent)
II. Economic Development
ED1 – Grow Small Business Entrepreneurship
Number of new jobs created
5 1+ new jobs created (excellent)
26-50 new jobs created (good)
0-25 new jobs created (poor)
Amount of new capital investment
$2,000,001 + (excellent)
Number of clients/businesses receiving technical assistance
Within 6 – 9 months (excellent)
Within 10 – 12 months (good)
12 months + (poor)
ED2 – Support and Capitalize on Targeted and Dominant Industries
Level of employment (e.g. construction, healthcare, marine resources, manufacturing)
Number of business expansions (capital investment, employment, operations)
ED2a – Strengthen Marine Related Industries
Working waterfront – number of programs/services started/expanded to assist industry
Boat building & related industries – number of programs/services started/expanded to assist
Marine research – number of programs/services started/expanded to assist industry
ED2b – Expand Research & Development Activities
Number of new jobs in R & D Industry Sector
10 – 25 new jobs (excellent)
1 – 9 new jobs (good)
0 new jobs (poor)
ED2c – Expand Tourism and Strengthen Tourist Related Activities
Level of tourism attraction activity
Restaurant and lodging sales generated in September through May as a percentage of
ED2D – Strengthen Other Traditional Industries such as Farming, Forestry and Arts and
Number of industry workshops, trainings etc.
ED2e – Support Health Care
Number of people trained/employed in allied healthcare profession
Number of programs/services started and/or expanded to support this industry
ED3 – Coordinate and Strengthen Regional Capacity for Economic Development Planning
Level of Employment in Economic Development Planning
III. Education and Workforce Development
EW1 – Build a Skilled and Educated Workforce from Preschool to Adult
Number of graduates
21 – 40 (good)
0 -20 (poor)
Number of companies assisted
Number of on-going training efforts
IT1 – Develop and Redevelop Commercial Property and Infrastrucutre
Rate of increase of commercial space added in industrial parks.
300,001 + sq. ft. (excellent)
100,001 – 300,000 sq. ft. (good)
0 – 100,000 sq. ft. (poor)
IT2 - Create an Efficient Transportation Infrastructure
Number of communities involved in Maine DOT‘s Gateway1 project.
7 – 10 (excellent)
IT3 – Develop a Strong Telecommunications System
Number of towns with access to high speed Internet services
X. Integration with State‘s Economic Development Priorities
The MidCoast Economic Development District recognized the importance of developing
programs and services which are in harmony with the established priorities of the State. This
synergistic approach allows both entities to maximize available resources and effectively deliver
its services to the targeted population. The State views the success of its six economic
development districts as vital to the economic development of the state and as a natural conduit for
reaching businesses, communities and citizens with their economic and community development
programs. In recent years the state has developed and implemented several progressive and
effective economic development programs.
Maine‘s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and MCEDD
have worked very closely with each other to promote several initiatives in the service region.
Office of Business Development (OBD) – This office assigns business development
specialists throughout the state to provide technical assistance and assist in economic expansion
activities. The regional representative for the Midcoast is headquartered in MCEDD‘s southern
regional office in Bath. The OBD specialist has worked closely with MCEDD staff in both
regional offices to promote economic development and promote programs that support business
attraction, retention and expansion in the service region. The strength of this relationship has
allowed MCEDD staff to be aware of and effectively implement Maine‘s economic development
initiatives. Additionally, it has enabled MCEDD to communicate to State officials the challenges
and concerns that are specific to the region.
The advantage of this communication between state and local offices has led to success in
the promotion of these programs in the MCEDD region:
Pine Tree Development Zone (PTDZ) – This ambitious tax incentive program, offered to
qualifying businesses, allows communities to designate specific locations as Pine Tree Zones to
encourage business attraction, expansion and retention activities. Eleven communities in the
MCEDD region have designated nearly 900 acres for development under the Pine Tree Zone
program. Much like other areas of the state, the MCEDD region has enjoyed great success in
promoting economic development with the Pine Tree Zone program.
Maine Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) – These centers provide no-cost
counseling to small and mid-sized businesses seeking information on management assistance,
training, resources and information. Assistance is also provided to entrepreneurs wishing to start a
business, providing consultation in; start-up and acquisition, market plan development, market
research and identifying sources of credit and financing. The SBDC offices also offer trainings and
seminars on a variety of small business topics.
There are two SBDC offices in the MCEDD region, one in the southern regional office in
Bath and one in the Lincoln County town of Wiscasset.
North Star Alliance – The North Star Alliance program is part of a statewide initiative,
funded by a federal WIRED grant, focused on developing industry clusters in areas of traditional
strength or great potential. The Midcoast region has a long and rich history in the boatbuilding
industry that reaches 400 years. In addition to the traditional wooden boat building operations,
other companies, utilizing steel and composite technologies have also met with great success.
Another industry ―cluster‖ is the composites industry itself. New technology in this industry has
enabled companies to meet virtually every demand for products. These two industries, along with
precision manufacturing, have been recognized as industries which are already strong in Midcoast
Maine and may become dominant on a national or perhaps international scale if properly invested
in and expanded. The state has developed the Northstar Alliance program to meet this challenge
and create economic opportunities for these industries. The Southern office of the MCEDD region
hosts the office of the regional NorthStar Alliance representative.
Community Development Block Grant – This economic and community development
program is funded on the federal level by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and
administered on the state level by the Department of Economic and Community Development
(DECD). MCEDD has aggressively pursued these funds for communities for myriad projects,
including, business assistance, public infrastructure, planning activities, public service projects and
affordable housing. Both regional offices of the MCEDD region are certified to provide technical
assistance on CDBG issues to member communities, businesses and non-profits. The grants and
low interest loans made available through this program have and will continue to play a vital role
in the economic development of region for years to come.
Creative Economy – Both the State of Maine and the Midcoast region view the support and
promotion of the creative economy as vital in maintaining and growing Maine‘s arts community
and supporting tourism, retail activities and the local economies of the state‘s cities and towns. The
term ―creative economy‖ is one that defines a broad segment of culture, production and the arts.
The Midcoast region has a rich history of artists, writers, musicians, architects and others who
have played a vital role in crafting and sustaining the unique and fascinating identity for the region.
The continued contributions from these communities are necessary to ensure that the region
maintain that identity and is able to effectively promote it, both within and outside of the Midcoast
DECD/Governor’s Strategic Plan – Maine's economic strategy must embrace four
fundamental economic drivers: (1) the creation of a fair and stable business environment to attract
investment to Maine; (2) investment in people; (3) a clear focus on key sectors of the state's
economy; and (4) building infrastructure
II. Investment in people
Creating an educational system that moves students from K thru 16 and beyond is now more than a
goal; it is a plan in the making. Our objective is to have 60% of our high school seniors go on to
college by 2006, and 70% by 2010.
III. A Clear Focus on Key Sectors of the Maine Economy
3. Precision and Niche Manufacturing
The state has a long and honorable manufacturing tradition. As our manufacturing sector matures,
we must be creative and flexible in developing the manufacturing jobs of the future. This will
involve support for research, development of cutting-edge technology and a highly skilled
workforce. It will also require innovative financing and participation from the Finance Authority
of Maine and DECD.
This traditional industry is vital to Maine's economic future. Already, tourism accounts for 15% of
Maine's gross state product - compared to 5% for the nation, and 6% for the rest of New England.
Tourism leverages our magnificent natural resources in a way that, for the most part, is
environmentally friendly. We will: continue to work with local agencies to promote different areas
of Maine; work with our higher education institutions to provide degree programs in hospitality;
and expand our marketing efforts, utilizing "single image" branding to promote our state.
V. Cross-Cutting Issues: The following issues cut across the four targeted areas outlined above.
We must continue to improve our efforts to promote entrepreneurial enterprises. Critical to this
will be the Maine Technology Institute, the state's incubator program, and the state's education
system. We will also continue to promote the Small Enterprise Growth Fund and the Maine Seed
Capital Tax Credit.
2. The Creative Economy
Our society is just beginning to understand the importance of this new sector. Highly educated and
mobile, creative economy workers have much to offer Maine, and our natural heritage makes the
state an obvious destination for them. Maine is a leader among the states in trying to understand
and nurture this new force, and the Blaine House Conference on the Creative Economy, scheduled
for May 2004, will be an important forum.
The Maine Creative Economy Council‘s strategy for Maine includes:
Cultivating a creative mindset
Investing in research and the development of new technologices
Supporting industries‘ efforts to develop and/or exploit higher-value business and
Attracting and retaining creative workers
Strengthening the creative abilities of all Maine workers – present and future
2. Small Business Support
Maine is a state of small business: approximately half of Maine people work for businesses of 20
and fewer employees and over 90% of Maine businesses have 20 and fewer employees. Our
system of support for this vital sector must be one-stop and user-friendly. The business-permitting
process is especially onerous for these thinly staffed enterprises and must be simplified.
The Governor’s Energy Efficiency Summit April 2008: The summit will present and
discuss how best to reduce energy costs and improve business operation. The summit will include
an expo with displays of energy-efficient technologies and services for business energy choices
Quality Places/Open Space –
In March 2007, Governor Baldacci appointed the Council of Maine‘s Quality of Place. Specific
1. Regional landscape conservation.
2. Revitalization of our communities, our village centers, our creative economy, and our built
Adopt a Strong State Community Preservation and Development Policy
Provide Communities with Development Assistance
Enhance Historic Preservation Tools
Enact the Maine Community Preservation Act
Create the Maine Intrastate Trail System
3. Asset-Based Development Strategy a bold new ―bottom-up‖ approach to Maine economic
development, called ―asset-based development.‖
A Local-Regional Approach to Development: Use a locally driven, broadly
participatory structure to identify key assets and to design and implement strategies
to preserve and promote these assets
State Incentives and Support: Establish a state grant program to assist with the
preparation of regional asset-based development strategies
State Coordination: Establish a permanent state-level Maine Quality of Place
Implementation Funding: Provide reliable funding to implement regional and
statewide asset-based development strategies
State Support: Organize state programs and agencies to incentivize and support
bottom-up, asset-based development efforts
Workforce Development: Align Maine‘s workforce development system and
programs with Quality of Place opportunities
Maine Office of Innovation – Science and Technology Action Plan for Maine 2005
Maine‘s investments in R&D will stimulate and sustain consistent, competitive growth for Maine‘s
1. Support and advocate for focused state R&D investments at levels that keep Maine
competitive, nationally and internationally, in Maine‘s targeted technology areas:
Marine and Aquaculture
Agriculture and Forestry
2. Target state R&D investments to those strategic areas or clusters within the state‘s
technology-intensive industrial sectors with the greatest potential to support jobs and
Stimulate a robust R&D enterprise by boosting academic R&D capacity, developing an educated,
technically skilled workforce, broadening the impact from the nonprofit research institutions and
increasing private sector R&D activity in key strategic areas important to Maine.
1. Using a portion of state funding (Objective 1.1), create the equivalent of a virtual Tier I1
statewide research enterprise, encompassing research universities, institutions and private
companies, that attracts scientific participation in basic research from the national research
2. Develop research universities and institutions that are hubs for entrepreneurial activity.
3. Build strategic alliances and research collaborations between and among Maine‘s research
institutions, universities, entrepreneurs and companies.
Maine‘s Legislature and key policy makers recognize, advance and celebrate Maine‘s R&D
investments and strategic priorities.
1. Legislators are informed through frequent, precise, interesting reports.
2. Accurate and reliable information, data and analysis on Maine‘s innovation-based economy
are developed and provided, promoting understanding and informing policy at the state and
Maine‘s unique R&D assets and their significance to Maine‘s economy are used to draw new
business and investment to the state of Maine.
1. Market Maine‘s Science and Technology strengths and assets to existing Maine students
and businesses .
2. Maximize the benefits of Maine‘s proximity to leading centers of innovation and
innovative businesses in the United States and Canada.
Foster growth of research intensive companies through a comprehensive network of services and
1. Public and private funding sources are developed that support early stage research-
intensive business development targeted to the capital gap between R&D funding and cash
2. Build a critical mass of entrepreneurial management assistance that enables the growth of
research-intensive businesses in Maine.
3. Develop appropriate statewide business support to shepherd research-intensive businesses
throughout their unique business lifecycle.