U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to the Maine Technology Institute in Brunswick. The grant will help develop a strategic roadmap to strengthen Maine’s marine living resources economy and improve resiliency against future natural disasters. The EDA grant will be matched with more than $522,000 in local investment.

“With this investment, the Maine Technology Institute will implement strategies to strengthen the state’s critical marine living resources economy by identifying new market opportunities and transportation mechanisms and by providing a stronger, more efficient workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a news release.

“EDA plays an important role in catalyzing local business development and disaster recovery and resiliency plans,” said Dana Gartzke, performing the delegated duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, in the release. “We are pleased to support Maine’s marine living resource business community as they work to expand and strengthen the state’s economy following damage caused by the severe storms and flooding of 2017.”

“Maine’s marine economy is an engine that has powered our state for generations, and we are committed to supporting its continued success,” said U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden, in a joint statement. “Building on our traditions of the past, industry leaders are working to create new, sustainable opportunities that will maximize the benefits of our vast marine resources. This funding from the EDA will support those industry-led efforts to foster innovation and adaptability, and improve current and future workforce needs, which are needed now more than ever to help this vital sector weather the coronavirus pandemic and future challenges.”

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

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