A challenge for any and all civic community leaders is how to bring businesses to their part of the region in order to achieve an impact big enough to grow their economy.

This week on our Community Spotlight, we caught up with Houlton's Community Development Director, Nancy Ketch, to talk about some great news coming to southern Aroostook County.

Ketch says that Houlton received 3 grants in order to realize a Tri-County Cultural Plan for Houlton and surrounding areas earlier this year.

The Tri-County plan covers southern Aroostook, northern Penobscot, and northern Washington counties.

The plan has already been adopted by the town of Houlton, Monticello, Island Falls, and Danforth already, but they are working on getting other towns to adopt the plan as well.

The methodology of the Tri-County Region Cultural Plan

Nancy Ketch

The Primary Focus of the Tri-County Plan

Ketch says that the primary focus of the plan is to have a creative economy that attracts tourists, highlighting the historical and cultural heritage aspects of any community.

The primary grant came through the Maine Arts Commission as well as the Maine Community Foundation. A consult was hired through the Betterment Fund to do the cultural plan.

Nancy Ketch

 A New Manufacturing Plant In Houlton

In order for any community to achieve job growth, it must have a plan in place to attract more businesses and organizations in order help place people in jobs.

According to Ketch, there are plans for the construction of a new manufacturing plant called Laboratory Feeds of Maine beginning in 2019.

The plant would produce very specialized feed for the laboratory rats that are used at The Jackson Laboratory, located in Bar Harbor, Maine.

The plant has the potential of hiring 10 - 11 people in the area that would allow the special feed to be produced in the state of Maine.

Currently, the feed is produced in other parts of the U.S., according to Ketch.

Grants for the projects are currently being sought from Northern Border Regional Commission, EDA and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Community Spotlight is a Townsquare Media production and sponsored by Cary Medical Center.

If you have an idea for the program, contact us at spotlight@townsquaremedia.com.