August 13, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) and Representative Jared Golden (D-Maine) celebrated the reopening of the Old Town Mill, which will support both the regional economy and further bolster Maine’s forest products industry. Senators Collins and King and Representative Golden toured the mill and gave remarks highlighting the significance of investments in Maine’s rural economy. ND Paper purchased the Old Town Mill in October 2018, which was applauded by Senators Collins and King, following their investments in the Rumford Paper Mill.
“Maine’s forest economy has long played a vital role in our state, and we applaud the investments that ND Paper is making in the Old Town Mill to create jobs and to further support rural communities,” said Senator Collins, Senator King and Representative Golden in a joint statement. “By building on and updating one of Maine’s most historic manufacturing sites, ND Paper is investing in Maine’s forest economy and in our talented workforce. We will continue to work together with industry and community leaders to help revitalize our forest products industry for generations to come.”
Senators Collins and King are strong supporters of revitalizing Maine’s forest economy and were instrumental in establishing the Forest Opportunity Roadmap (FOR/Maine) Initiative, an industry-led initiative that is helping to diversify the state’s wood products businesses, attract investments, and develop greater economic prosperity for rural communities impacted by mill closures. The FOR/Maine Initiative was funded in part by the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) requested by the Senators in 2016 in order to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s rural communities. The EDAT recommended the development of new markets for Maine’s forest resources, including the strengthening of existing forest products manufacturing, the attraction of investment in emerging technology, and the utilization of forest products residuals in CHP biomass plants, microgrids, modern thermal systems, and new forest products development.
Congressman Golden is working to help Maine’s forest products industry succeed far into the future by helping prepare Maine’s workforce to take good jobs in Maine’s forests, roads, and mills. He introduced the Future Loggers Careers Act in the House earlier this year, which Senator King cosponsored in the Senate. The legislation would ready young Mainers for good jobs in the forest products industry, support family logging businesses, and ensure operations like ND’s Old Town Mill have a reliable, consistent supply of quality Maine wood fiber. Golden is also a cosponsor of the DRIVE-Safe Act, which would address the urgent shortage of truck drivers in Maine’s forest products industry by encouraging more young people to enter careers in trucking. The congressman also supports full funding for the EDAT and its recommended projects, as well as other efforts to strengthen and diversify the wood products industry and our rural economy.