Mobilize Maine is a statewide, asset-based economic development initiative built upon seven federally recognized economic development districts (EDDs). Northern Maine Development Commission (NMDC), an early adopter of asset-based economic development principles, asked VE to initiate an industry cluster opportunity analysis in Aroostook County.
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VE guided the regional leaders through economic benchmarking, goal setting and asset mapping in preparation for selecting targeted industry clusters. The analysis was completed by ranking industry clusters based upon their ability to reach the goals, existing assets and market opportunity. The analysis concluded the region should focus on renewable energy and IT operations centers.
This initiative, with the guidance and support of VE, has achieved unprecedented accomplishments in Maine and national attention as a best practice model. Mobilize Maine has:
- Realigned the entire EDD boundaries across the state
- Merged two EDDs with Local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIB)
- Conducted two statewide CEDS Summits resulting in a common template used by all regions and a planned comprehensive statewide CEDS in 2013
- In 18 months, achieved over 20 commercial biomass energy installations, saving $2.4M+ each year in Aroostook County
- Northern Maine Community College received a $1.2M donation, its largest private donation, for an Alternative Energy Center of Excellence
- Statewide CEDS based upon six key drivers: asset-based cluster development, entrepreneurship & innovation, education and workforce development, access to capital, infrastructure, and environment and leadership
- trengthen the Northern Maine Renewable Energy Economy in Aroostook and Washington Counties
- Establishment and strategic connection between regional leadership teams
For more information or to learn how VE’s unique community economic development approach can work for your region, contact VE or call 410-321-1484.