MRRA, CCWI Land $2 million Federal Grant for TechPlace and Manufacturing Workforce Enhancement
MRRA One of 10 Winners of Obama’s “Make It in America Challenge” Funding for Brunswick Landing Technology Accelerator Project
BRUNSWICK LANDING, Maine – The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority and Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) are pleased to announce that they have been awarded $2,050,000 in federal funding to support the establishment of an advanced manufacturing accelerator. The U.S Economic Development Administration is funding $750,000 of the project, while $1.3 is being awarded to CCWI by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The funding was made possible through a collaborative “Make it in America Challenge,” which includes a number of federal agencies coming together to accelerate job creation, worker training, foreign direct investment, and domestic business expansion.
MRRA will establish the TechPlace advanced manufacturing accelerator in the 93,000 s.f. former Navy Building 250 located at 74 Orion Street. When complete, TechPlace will provide office, shop, laboratory, and workspace for MRRA’s target industries — aerospace, aviation, composites/advanced materials, renewable energy and biotechnology manufacturing.
Overall, the renovations will cost an estimated $1.5 million. MRRA, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, and the Brunswick Development Corporation are each contributing $250,000 for a total of $750,000 to match the federal monies.
CCWI’s funding will be used to reduce H1B dependency in the targeted sectors by providing industry recognized credentials and customized skills training to Maine manufacturing companies’ incumbent workers; and increase access to H1B career pathways for unemployed workers by offering internships combined with industry recognized credential training to create a “co-op” experience at selected Maine manufacturing companies.
“TechPlace is a really exciting project for us, the region, and the state,” MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque said. “It’s an effective reuse of a key property at Brunswick Landing. It will provide for low cost manufacturing space, access to common services and equipment already located in the building and will allow for business development and growth for emerging companies and start-ups.”
“We are thrilled to be part of this Project and anxious to begin working with our partners,” said CCWI Executive Director, Michael Bourret. “This is great news for area employers and workers alike.”
Southern Maine Community College, University of Maine, and Maine Technology Institute are also working on the TechPlace project.
The “Make it in America Challenge” is a national competition that seeks to encourage foreign and domestic businesses to build and/or expand their operations in the United States. The goal of this competition is to encourage U.S. companies to keep or expand their businesses—and jobs—here at home, and train local workers to meet the needs of those businesses.
The “Make it in America Challenge” was issued on March 18, 2013. Under President Obama’s leadership, federal agencies are collaborating more effectively to make smart investments that provide stakeholders with a seamless process for applying for federal resources. To that end, the “Make it in America Challenge” allowed applicants to submit one application to fund their projects.
Newspaper articles and other coverage of “Make It in America” grant award announcement
MRRA collects $2M for TechPlace: Grants require local matches; 300 jobs possible Times Record story, October 22, 2013
Feds award $2 million to create business facility in Brunswick Bangor Daily News story by Whit Richardson, October 22, 2013
Former Brunswick air station to create tech center Portland Press Herald story by Jessica Hall, October 22, 2013
Brunswick Landing developer receives $2M federal grant for tech incubator Forecaster story by Dylan Martin, October 22, 2013
Audio clip: Feds Give $2M Boost to Maine’s Effort to Redevelop Former Navy Base Maine Public Broadcasting Network story by A.J. Higgins, October 22, 2013
Video news clip: $2M grant awarded for Midcoast job creation WCSH Channel 6 story by Don Carrigan, October 22, 2013
Maine Congressional Delegation Press Releases
Collins, King Announce $2.05 Million Grant to Support Midcoast Regional Innovation Initiative