LePage, King Welcome New Businesses & Hundreds of Jobs to Aroostook
Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) and Junior United States Senator Angus King (I) spent the day in the County, welcoming new businesses and jobs to Northern Maine.
Calling Ashland "Boom Town USA," Senator King addressed groups at four local businesses, and Governor LePage toured three, after his morning flight was delayed due to fog in Presque Isle.
The two officials started their swing through Aroostook County in Ashland, where they toured Ecoshel's brand new cedar shingle production facility. Supporting 25 new jobs in the Ashland area, Ecoshel has partnered with key investors, the College of Engineering at the University of Maine, and the UMaine Advanced Manufacturing Center to develop a new, cost effective way to produce cedar siding for homes. Ecoshel's new product is easier to install, cheaper to produce, and profitable enough to allow the company to reclaim a portion of the market back from neighboring Canada, where cedar product manufacturing has relocated over the past decades.
Listen to U.S. Senator Angus King talk about the impact to the Northern Maine economy that will be created by these new businesses and the jobs that they create:
King and LePage then traveled to the ReEnergy plant in Ashland, where the former Biomass-to-Energy plant will start operations again soon, after being out of business since December 2011. The plant turns paper and wood waste, as well as unadulterated wood, into clean power.
Listen to plant director Mark Thibodeau talk about the reopening of the Ashland facility:
Both leaders then headed north to the Irving Sawmill in Nashville Plantation, where they officially opened the brand new mill that will employ 60 people now, and hopes to hire almost 200 by 2016.
Governor LePage, Senator King, and members of the Irving family officially opened the new Irving Sawmill with a blast of the facility's new horn:
All told, Aroostook County and Northern Maine could be in from anywhere between 200-300 new jobs over the next 24-36 months, all thanks to new and expanding businesses and industries like Ecoshel, ReEnergy, Irving and Northeast Pellets.