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Notes from APP and NMDC
Volume 3, Issue 108
Sept. 12, 2014
In This Issue
NADO Conference
APP/LEAD Annual Meeting
APP Board Meeting
NADO conference provides immediate benefits

    CARIBOU - The recently concluded National Association of Development Organization (NADO) annual training conference is already paying dividends for Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC).

    The conference in Denver at the end of August convened more than 650 regional development professionals - including executive directors, policy board members, program staff and others - to hear from leading experts about a variety of relevant and timely topics, share ideas and exchange information with peers and learn about successful and replicable regional development projects and initiatives.

    NMDC Executive Director Bob Clark and Director of Economic and Workforce Development Ryan Pelletier participated in the training sessions and said the gathering provided many positives, including some that are relevant right now, like strengthening the Mobilize Northern Maine and Education to Industry initiatives.

    "This is one of the better trainings I have attended," said Clark. "I was really impressed with the 'WealthWorks' training. It focused on building wealth in the community."

    The daylong training was to learn about identifying assets, extending partnerships, and building wealth through local and regional development efforts.

    Clark said it was very similar to the current Mobilize Northern Maine efforts, which reinforced the approach but also provided insight in how to improve some areas.

    He added it also highlighted the value of the right partners in developing the assets of the region.

    Follow up training on "WealthWorks" is scheduled for October.

    Pelletier said another session provided a good idea for strengthening "Education to Industry" efforts in Aroostook.

    "It is a program called 'Teachers in Education' and industry and education team up to provide paid internships to teachers in the summer," said Pelletier. "It provides the educators with a greater knowledge of opportunities and skills needed to do certain professions."

    The program is currently in North Dakota and Pelletier says there may be value in replicating it in northern Maine.

    Other workshops focused on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), changes in government regulations relating to federal grants, Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) and workforce development.

    Also at the conference, Clark was elected to the NADO board of directors for a 3-year term.

Bangor City Mayor to give keynote at annual APP/LEAD meeting

     PRESQUE ISLE - Bangor City Council Chairman Ben Sprague will deliver the keynote address at the Aroostook Partnership for Progress/LEADers Encouraging Aroostook Development annual meeting at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 1 at the Edmunds Conference Center at Northern Maine Community College.

    After breakfast, the agenda will include a recap of APP and LEAD accomplishments from the previous year and a look ahead at opportunities and challenges. The presentations will be followed by the address from Sprague.

    "It is important to have an annual meeting to reinforce to all the Partnership investors the focus and priorities we share under the Mobilize Northern Maine economic strategy and to review the progress that has been made from our efforts over the last year," said APP President Bob Dorsey. "APP will briefly discuss progress in our four economic focus sectors, agriculture, energy, forestry and manufacturing; highlight progress in the Education to Industry initiative and present plaques to our new investors."

    "This is an opportunity for the LEAD membership to give direct input into the future of LEAD strategies and initiatives and to hear a recap of projects and programs that LEAD has been engaged in over the past year," added LEAD Executive Director Ryan Pelletier.

    "I heard Ben speak at Epic Maine and I was really impressed," said Dorsey. "He is a young person who returned to Maine and has a great message of how folks can return home and contribute to the success of their region."

    Sprague was born and raised in Bangor and graduated from Bangor High School in 2002. After graduating from Harvard University in 2006, Ben worked for the Boston Red Sox for four years and also taught career development, diploma and computer classes. He then returned to Bangor and today works as a financial advisor with Means Wealth Management.  

    Sprague was first elected to the City Council in 2011 and was chosen unanimously by his colleagues to be the Council Chair for the 2013-2014 year. Ben also chairs the Tri-County Workforce Investment Board and serves as Race Director for Erin's Run, an annual road race that raises money for Spruce Run - Womancare Alliance in Bangor.

    Sprague's talk entitled "Working Together to Grow Maine"  and will look at efforts to attract young people to northern Maine and incorporate his experiences in returning to Bangor.

    The breakfast is free, but pre-registration is required. To register electronically go to or click here.

APP Board of Directors meet at MMG Insurance in Presque Isle
    Meeting for the first time since June, the Aroostook Partnership for Progress Board of Directors discussed a very busy summer for the Partnership. The meeting Friday, Sept. 12 was hosted by MMG Insurance in Presque Isle. Look for a complete story in the newsletter on Sept. 19.

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