Currently showing posts tagged Maine jobs

  • Brunswick Landing, the former Navy base in Maine, showing strong growth

    Redevelopment News, Fall 2016

    Executive Director's Report: Summer Sizzling With Jobs Growth

    SteveIt's been a very productive summer of redevelopment and job creation at the former Navy base. As of September 1st, our employee count was more than 1,200 workers at Brunswick Landing and Topsham Commerce Park.That number is more than triple what was originally forecast. Thanks to booming companies like Wayfair and SaviLinx, which are both hiring hundreds of workers this year, and the steady growth of additional new companies, we've easily surpassed projections. We recognize how fortunate we've been to land quality companies.

    Many are new to Maine, including SaviLinx, Wayfair, Mölnlycke Health Care, InSphero, Tempus Jets, and ONE Aviation. It's important to recognize how sticking to the Reuse Master Plan has helped us create a thriving live, work, and play community.

    The Reuse Plan calls for a disciplined focus on attracting businesses within targeted industries such as aerospace, biotech, composites, IT, and renewable energy. We've kept our aim on those sectors. Sometimes that focus has meant we've had to say no to other business activities. So far, this business attraction strategy is working. We're pleased to be closing in 100 business entities and ahead of the game, but we still have a very long ways to go and plenty of buildings to fill before we can truly call the redevelopment a success.

    Featured Property: Building 333 in Topsham Commerce Park

    Topsham office building

    MRRA has recently put one of the Topsham Commerce Park's best facilities on the market. If you're looking for an opportunity to redevelop a property with tremendous potential, 47 Canam Drive in Topsham is worth a look. The two-story brick office building was built in 1958 and was used as headquarters for the army reserve. It offers more than 13,000 SF of space, a 100-space parking lot, and is only a mile from the Topsham exit on Interstate 295. The property also comes with more than four acres of land that could be redeveloped to create an office campus within the existing business park.

    Topsham Commerce Park is a beautiful property in a quiet area close to housing and adjacent to one of the top school systems in the state of Maine. The building was designed by famous Maine architect Alonzo Harriman and is eligible for historic tax credits to developers who would preserve the building's historic integrity and architectural vernacular. It is listed at $299,000 by Don Spann of Riverside RE/MAX in Topsham.

    Additional Manufacturing Space Being Created at TechPlace to Meet Demand

    industrial spaceMRRA is wrapping up renovations on the TechPlace expansion project. The project is designed to help growing manufacturing companies in need of industrial space. The space will be ideal for companies engaged in the aerospace, composites, renewable energy, and biotech/biomed industries. Once complete in a few weeks, approximately 16,000 square feet of manufacturing space divided into several separate units will be available. The modified space, which includes an overhead monorail crane and a layup room, will be able to accommodate up to seven manufacturing businesses with individual work spaces ranging in size from 1,500 SF to 2,800 SF. The space is located adjacent to TechPlace. Brunswick Landing's Technology Accelerator, which features smaller manufacturing spaces and a shared machine shop and woodshop. View photos of the construction work »

    FAA Renews Brunswick Executive Airport's Participation in Military Airport Program

    Hangar 6The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Brunswick Executive Airport to participate in the FY16 Military Airport Program (MAP). This is great news for BXM and Brunswick Landing. It allows us to remain in the program for five additional years and be eligible for grant monies to fund airport improvement projects necessary to grow a robust aviation/aerospace business here. BXM was the only former military airport or joint use airport added to MAP this year, the third straight year FAA has picked only one participant. A total of 15 airports can participate in the program at one time. The selection will allow us to complete projects that started during the previous five years, including conversion of military hangars to civilian use, obstruction removal, drainage upgrades and installing wildlife fencing.

    Brunswick Landing Construction Projects Continue to Progress

    AvitaTwo more projects are rapidly taking shape near the front of the property. Avita of Brunswick is nearing completion of a 50,000 SF memory care facility that is scheduled to open early next year. The building is located just off Admiral Fitch Avenue on the site of the old Navy mobile home park. Landry-French, the lead contractor, says it has employed more than 150 workers during the project. Priority Real Estate Group of Topsham broke ground last month on a new convenience store and service station along Bath Road. They are moving along quickly and expect to have the bulk of the work done by mid-November. The store will be located on Bath Road across from Merrymeeting Plaza.

    MRRA Adjusting Traffic Pattern on Admiral Fitch Avenue to Increase Safety

    traffic pattern change

    Our Public Works Department recently completed work to reconfigure the traffic lanes on Admiral Fitch Ave., Brunswick Landing's main thoroughfare. The traffic pattern on Fitch from Forrestal Avenue to just beyond Pegasus Street (the four-way stop) is being changed from four lanes (two inbound and two outbound) to one lane inbound and one lane outbound with a center turn lane and designated bike lane. The project will help promote safer driving on the increasingly busy road. Motorists are reminded to please observe the posted speed limits and be mindful of the new traffic pattern. Read advisory for more information »

    TechPlace Growth Shows No Signs of Slowing Down; Go Babe Newest Tenant

    STARC SystemsWith the recent addition of Go Babe, a manufacturer of children's garments, to the roster, TechPlace now has 27 businesses. Several other firms, including a rocket company, are close to signing deals for space in Brunswick Landing's Technology Accelerator. Additionally, some of TechPlace's current businesses have already outgrown their original footprints. STARC, SteriZign, and InSphero are in serious expansion mode and may need to lease more space in TechPlace or even other buildings on the property to accommodate their growth. Some of these growing businesses may be able to take advantage of the new manufacturing space being constructed in Hangar 4 East, which is adjacent to TechPlace.

  • Logging contractors, CAT Forest Products and three Maine community colleges announce new training program for mechanized logging

    By  Ramona du Houx

    The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine, Milton CAT/CAT Forest Products and three Maine community college partners joined state legislators and students at a press conference today to announce the creation of the region’s first post-secondary mechanized logging operators training program.

    The program was created through a public-private partnership between the state, the Community College System, and logging industry leaders to train loggers on innovative technology that is transforming the industry and work in the Maine woods. It is expected to begin operating early in 2016.

    The announcement took place at Gerald Pelletier, Inc. on the Golden Road in Millinocket, and included a live demonstration of mechanized logging equipment by employees of the company. Gerald Pelletier is a founding member of the PLC and was showcased on the Discovery Channel television show, American Loggers.

    “Maine has been a leader nationally with respect to timber harvesting for the past two hundred years,” said Dana Doran, PLC Executive Director. “The creation of this new program not only fulfills a great need that exists with our industry at the present time, but it provides a great example of how Maine’s professional logging contractors lead the way in tackling issues and finding solutions which will sustain this industry for years to come.”

    Peter Collins, Forestry Industry Manager for Milton CAT, announced the donation of $1.2 million of equipment to the new program.

    “This program will ensure that the next generation of loggers in Maine has the skills they need to provide a good living for their families and care for the forest - Milton CAT and Caterpillar are excited to play a role,” said Peter Collins, Forestry Industry Manager for Milton CAT, when he announced the donation of $1.2 million of equipment to the new program.

    Additional support for the program is being sought from Maine Speaker of the House Mark W. Eves' program, ‘Put ME to Work’, which was recently enacted by the Maine Legislature and provides $1 million for the next two years to support creation of new job training programs at Maine’s community colleges.

    “I'm very proud of the bipartisan work lawmakers did this session to help make this new logging training program possible," said Speaker Eves, who led the effort to pass the "Put ME to Work" job training initiative and funding in the state budget. "By bringing workers, students, and employers together to support job training, we are helping to create good paying jobs for loggers across our state. Logging is a very important and growing industry in our state, and we must prepare our workforce for the innovations that are changing how people work in the woods."

    Once fully functional, the new certificate program will be offered on a rotating basis at different locations throughout northern and eastern Maine. It is designed to produce professional equipment operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to fill industry vacancies in mechanical forest operations throughout Maine, and is being developed in response to industry demand.

    “This project represents the progress that can be made when industry leaders, educators and state government focus on addressing a problem,” said President Timothy Crowley of NMCC . “Caterpillar’s commitment to this program is pivotal to its success. We are fortunate to have such outstanding partners.”

    “This program represents the very best that is possible when our public institutions partner with private industry,” said President Joseph Cassidy of WCCC and EMCC.

    Once fully functional, the new certificate program will be offered on a rotating basis at different locations throughout northern and eastern Maine. It is designed to produce professional equipment operators with the knowledge and skills necessary to fill industry vacancies in mechanical forest operations throughout Maine, and is being developed in response to industry demand.

    In classroom and hands on settings, students will be taught machine operation and repair, maintenance, harvesting laws, best management practices and safety. Students completing the program will also receive industry recognized safety certification.

    By hosting training at EMCC in Bangor, WCCC in Calais, and NMCC in Presque Isle, the program will benefit from established infrastructure in three of the most heavily harvested regions of Maine. Each of the three colleges has vast experience in workforce training and well-established trade and technical programs that will further support development of the new program. The program is also a natural enhancement to existing community college programs in Diesel Hydraulics, Heavy Equipment and Commercial Driving.

    As the economy has started to improve and demand for forest products has increased, it has become clear to the PLC that there is a desperate need for trained equipment operators for mechanized forest harvesting, not only within its membership, but throughout the state.

    The existing wood harvesting contractors in Maine are anxious to hire mechanized equipment operators who can harvest and process timber efficiently and safely to fulfill the increased demand. This need extends to small, medium and large contractors throughout the State of Maine as they increase productivity and continue to invest in highly technical equipment to meet the ever changing industry standards for forest harvesting.

    To read another story about Put ME to Work please go HERE.

  • Maine workers voice strong opposition to anti-worker bills in Augusta

    Ron Green, a Bangor Fire Fighter, explains why so-called “right-to-work” bills would weaken their organization and divide their team-before Maine's labor committee

     By Ramona du Houx

    Six attacks on workers’ rights and collective bargaining, including so-called ‘right to work’ bills, were heard today in Augusta before the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee.

    “This so-called ‘right to work’ legislation does nothing to guarantee jobs. In reality, it’s a right to work for less in a race to the bottom that is crippling working people across the country,” said Senator John Patrick of Rumford, who serves on the LCRED committee. “How many times are some Maine lawmakers going to signal that we don’t value our working men and women? Because that’s what right-to-work-for-less does.”

     The average worker in “right-to-work” states earns nearly $6,000 a year, or about 12 percent, less than workers in states without these laws. Median household income, meanwhile, is $6,568, or almost 12 percent, lower, and almost 13 percent of jobs are in low-wage occupations, compared with 18 percent elsewhere.

    “Taken as a whole, these bills represent the most far reaching legislative attack on workers’ right to have a voice on the job that we have seen in Maine in decades. This is a clear push to drive down workers’ wages and undermine workers’ voices at work,”  said Maine AFL-CIO Executive Director Matt Schlobohm explained the way these bills, taken together, are a wholesale attack on the freedom of association. 

     Workers traveled from across the state to ask Committee members to oppose these bills, all of which would undermine collective bargaining rights and weaken Maine workers ability to have a voice on the job and stand up for better pay and benefits. 

    “These anti-worker bills are just another attempt by CEOs and corporate interests to end unions as we know them so they can stack the deck even more in their favor at the expense of working people," said Ron Green of Plymouth is a Bangor Fire Fighter and a member of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine. “The question is why are politicians targeting working people?  The message these bills send is that firefighters, nurses and teachers are the problem because we want a voice on the job. Working people do our part, we keep Maine’s economy running and we should be able to have a voice on the job.”

    LD 489, LD 1351, LD 1010, LD 1353, LD 404, and LD 1319 all undermine the ability of unions to function, fundamentally weakening the rights of workers to self-organize and have representation.

    “Working people need to have a voice in this economy to stand up for decent pay and benefits and safer workplaces.  These bills will drive down wages, harm workplace safety and undercut workers ability to have a voice on the job,” said Jess Chubbuck of Edgecomb is an electrician at Bath Iron Works and a member of Machinists Local S6. “My union stands up every day to keep work in our shipyard and to make it a safe place to work.”

    “Unions are a check and balance on corporate greed. Workers coming together in America have built the middle class in this country. With wages stagnant and inequality soaring, why would politicians seek to drive down wages, weaken workers voices, and undermine Maine workers ability to improve their lives and their family’s future?” added Schlobohm.

    Similar measures to undercut collective bargaining were rejected in the 126th Legislature and also in the 125th Legislature, when Republicans held the majority.

  • Maine lawmakers head to Western Maine on statewide jobs tour

     State lawmakers will tour a career and technical school and a thriving logging company on Monday, as part of the statewide jobs tour led by House Speaker Mark Eves.

    “Our next stop will help lawmakers understand how new technology is transforming Maine’s traditional logging industry and its workforce,” said Speaker Eves of North Berwick. “By investing in education and training for workers, we can ensure Maine loggers can get good paying jobs in a critical growing industry in our state.”

    The jobs tour gives lawmakers the opportunity to talk to workers, employers and community officials about growing good jobs and strong wages. This latest stop in Western Maine at the Career and Technical Education School of Applied Technology and Nicols Brothers Logging company will showcase what’s in store for the future of logging and forest products industry jobs in the area.

    “If we want our economy to succeed, we have to stand up for our workers,” said Senator John Patrick of Rumford. “Workers are the backbone of our state and our products are only as good as the hard-working people who make them.”

    Eves is proposing a statewide investment of $5 million over five years to create at least 10 public-private partnerships to support job training in high-demand fields. The measure would also fund scholarships for workers and students to gain the skills they need to fill jobs in growing sectors, including agriculture, high skilled manufacturing, information technology and health care.

    “Investing in our workers is the right way to grow our economy. It’s a win for workers and a win for our businesses,” said Rep. Matt Peterson of Rumford. “It is great to have lawmakers come to our area to highlight the growing industry and the hard - working people who punch a time-clock each day.”

    Maine’s economy lags behind the nation, with a significant jobs gap and stagnating wages. Maine would have 19,000 more jobs now if the state were keeping up with the national recovery. Maine’s wages are 20 percent lower, on average, than wages across the United States – even those states with similar demographics like Vermont and New Hampshire have higher average wages.