Governor LePage Highlights New Jobs and New Investment in Aroostook County

October 2, 2014

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage visited two of three Aroostook County businesses today to celebrate their new investment and the creation of as many as 165 new direct jobs throughout the region.

“This is a huge win for the State of Maine and in particular, the people of Aroostook County,” said Governor LePage. “We appreciate the investment made by Ecoshel, ReEnergy, and Irving Forest Products and we thank them for choosing Maine as a place to do business. My administration will continue to help these and all businesses find the necessary resources and make all the right connections so they can be as successful and possible here in Maine. This is all about creating more career opportunities for Maine people.”

The first event was a celebration at Ecoshel which just recently opened its ‘Smart-Shingle’ production facility in Ashland and is quickly ramping up operations. The Governor planned to attend the event, but was unable to due to unforeseen circumstances. Ecoshel is anticipating hiring nearly 80 people. The new operation is an example of a real transition in Maine’s forest products-based economy, establishing Maine as a destination for raw material from outside the state to be manufactured and sold.

Across the Aroostook River, a few miles away at ReEnergy, another 25 people were hired. The restart of the company is also expected to lead to an estimated 150 new indirect jobs in the region. “We are delighted to be preparing for the restart of our Ashland biomass facility,” said ReEnergy Chief Executive Officer Larry D. Richardson. “This project will restore jobs, improve forest health, and enhance reliability and stability in the delivery of electricity in northern Maine.”

The third business was in nearby Nashville Plantation where Irving Forest Products hosted a grand opening for its new sawmill. This new investment of more than $30 million will lead to the creation of more than 60 new jobs. The new mill will allow the mixing of both green rough cut wood and dry planed wood together before scanning, grading and trimming. This new technology gives the facility a major competitive advantage.