Governor Baldacci Announces Mobilize Maine Initiative
April 6, 2009
AUGUSTA – Governor John E. Baldacci today joined officials from FairPoint Communications, the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Quality of Place Council and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce to announce the Mobilize Maine Initiative. Mobilize Maine is a locally driven initiative that provides regional data and growth forecasting to economic development professionals throughout the State.
“In these challenging times we must rely on creative partnerships to stretch limited resources,” Governor Baldacci said. “With FairPoint Communications as our partner, we will focus on an asset-based and regional-based economic development strategy. Instead of our communities being in a reactive mode economically, Mobilize Maine will enable our distinctive regions to be proactive and to prepare and execute their own comprehensive development activities.”
FairPoint Communications has commissioned ViTAL Economy, an economic consultant, to develop an economic development model for northern New England. The model is part of FairPoint’s initiative to assist economic development efforts in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
The modeling tool organizes the State into six regions and provides economic development officials with information on the areas’ current economic status. The tool can also forecast the impact of future economic and community development strategies in each region.
Officials say that the initiative will uncover unique assets and potential of each region, and focus on the regions’ strengths and advantages to build economic development.
“I’m excited about Mobilize Maine,” the Governor said. “It’s economic development from the ground up, instead of the top down.”
The text of the Executive Order follows:
AN ORDER TO DIRECT STATE AGENCIES AND INSTRUMENTALITIES TO COLLABORATE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND MAINE’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS IN CREATION OF REGIONAL ASSET-BASED DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
WHEREAS, asset-based development has been demonstrated to be a necessary complement to traditional, needs-based efforts in building the new, knowledge-based economy; and
WHEREAS, asset-based development refers to initiatives that build directly upon a region's strengths and competitive advantages to generate jobs and economic growth; and
WHEREAS, asset-based development begins with identifying a region's marketable assets, and designs investment strategies that will enhance and connect these assets to job creation; and
WHEREAS, Maine’s place-based assets define our state’s quality of place and are today key drivers of Maine's economic and community development; and
WHEREAS, Maine's Economic Development Districts (Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, Mid-Coast Economic Development District, Northern Maine Development Commission, and Southern Maine Economic Development District) can catalyze the creation of regional asset-based development strategies for Maine's economy by involving representatives from all related sectors of each region's economy and community; and
WHEREAS, Vital Economy, Inc., a consultant of FairPoint Communications, Inc., will provide resources to and work with each of Maine's Economic Development Districts to inventory and strengthen the quality of place assets and the assets of one industry sector for each District; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that state agencies and instrumentalities engage in effective and consistent coordination with Maine's Economic Development Districts in support of this effort;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John Elias Baldacci, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby order the following:
All departments, agencies, and other instrumentalities of the State shall collaborate with the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development and Maine's Economic Development Districts in the development of regional asset-based development strategies, and shall provide all data, reports, and information requested as related to this effort.
The effective date of this Executive Order is April 6, 2009.