| | Economic growth in the Shiretown discussed at APP Board of Directors meeting
Jon Prescott, President and CEO of Katahdin Trust Company, (far end of the table) gives the Aroostook Partnership for Progress Board of Directors an update on how the bank is growing regionally and statewide.
HOULTON - There are numerous examples that the economy of Houlton is growing. That was the message Southern Aroostook Development Corporation Executive Director Jon McLaughlin had for the Aroostook Partnership for Progress (APP) board of directors at the group's monthly meeting held at Katahdin Trust Company's Operations Center in Houlton Friday, June 13.
McLaughlin pointed to major capital investments to bring more CNC machines into Smith and Wesson, an expansion of up to 15 more employees at Fed Ex, a new County Coop & Farm store, retail stores being purchased by younger owners, the strong performance of the SW Collins company with expansion efforts into Lincoln and a recent influx of younger people returning to the region as signs of growth.
"Whenever the board of directors meets in different parts of The County, we like to hear from people in those areas about investments, growth, trends, and even concerns," said APP President Bob Dorsey.
At the start of the meeting, Jon Prescott, President and CEO of Katahdin Trust Co., outlined some of the positives his financial institution has experienced recently. He pointed to the opening of a branch in Fort Kent, which gives the bank countywide coverage. Prescott also stated that growth in the Bangor area is steady. As part of his overview of Katahdin Trust, Prescott highlighted a brand new internship program instituted this year. Three college students from Van Buren, Fort Fairfield and Houlton have been hired for the summer to explore career opportunities with Katahdin Trust. Prescott explained that the program gives students a sense of professionalism that supplements their work in the classroom and shows our younger population that they don't have to leave The County to use their degree.
APP has been promoting internships and job shadowing as part of an ongoing "Education to Industry" campaign, which was also on the agenda for the meeting.
Dorsey updated the board on the second "Education to Industry" Summit planned for Aug. 7 at the University of Maine Presque Isle from 8 a.m. to noon.
"Last year we set the stage - here's the sense of urgency, this year the theme will be more of a call to action," he said. "We want to show positive examples of programs in different schools which introduce students to business and industry in Aroostook County."
Dorsey added that at the summit last summer attendance by business people was very good. This year he said a greater push is being made to attract more teachers, school officials and school board members to attend.
The board also elected its officers for the next year. Larry Shaw, President MMG Insurance, is the new APP Board Chairman. Prescott will serve as Vice Chair and Kris Doody, CEO of Cary Medical Center, and Chris Anderson, President and CEO of FA Peabody, will serve as secretary and treasurer respectively.
APP is a public/private partnership of more than 25 investors dedicated to aggressive and effective results-oriented economic development actions that leverage the financial commitments and talents of the private sector in close partnership with the public sector.