August 21, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine), applauded an announcement that GO Lab, Inc., has purchased the site of the former Madison paper mill and intends to use the facility to produce innovative biobased insulation. The company plans to employ 120 people at the site, which would become North America’s first producer of wood fiber insulation. This is the latest example of significant investments in Maine’s forest economy; just last week, Senators Collins and King, along with Congressman Jared Golden (D-Maine), took part in the reopening of the Old Town Mill, which was purchased by ND Paper in October 2018.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for Maine’s forest economy, which is a vital economic driver for our state’s rural communities,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “Maine is blessed with an abundance of forests and an innovative, dedicated workforce – two important resources that have established our state as a leader in forest products manufacturing. We are thrilled that GO Lab, Inc., has recognized the potential of this site, and look forward to working with them and others in the industry to further strengthen Maine’s forest products industry.”
GO Lab, Inc. a building products manufacturer based in Belfast, makes insulation from wood fiber that is renewable, recyclable, nontoxic, and performs as well, or better than, other available insulations. In May 2019, GO Lab was awarded a grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Innovation Grant Program to support environmentally sustainable innovation and help expand markets for Maine’s forest products.
Senators Collins and King have been strong supporters of Maine’s forest economy. In 2016, they called on the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT), which would work across agencies and sectors to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s rural communities. The creation of the EDAT and subsequent federal funding from the EDA and U.S. Forest Service established the 2018 FOR/Maine Initiative, an industry-led effort that released recommendations to grow and sustain Maine’s forest economy.