Kimberly Hamilton

FocusMaine has hired its first president, Kimberly Hamilton, to help implement the Portland-based economic development group’s 10-year plan to help create jobs and increase worker capacity in Maine, the group said Tuesday.

Hamilton is chief impact officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. Previously, she served in a variety of senior roles at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other policy and research organizations. She will start at FocusMaine in late October.

FocusMaine said it has begun the initial phase of its plan to create sustainable job growth in three of Maine’s key economic sectors: agriculture, aquaculture and biopharmaceuticals. The group also will “build systems to retain and attract knowledge workers for Maine businesses and their selected sectors,” it said. A $4.9 million, three-year matching grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation has helped launch the implementation phase.

FocusMaine was founded in 2014. Its mission is to strengthen and revitalize opportunity and prosperity in Maine by accelerating the growth of jobs in select industries that have high potential to create Maine jobs on a sustainable basis. In collaboration with multiple partners, FocusMaine plans to coordinate and oversee the execution of programs designed to accelerate business growth and business attraction in its selected sectors, as well as increase Maine’s workforce capacity.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

Twitter: jcraiganderson

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