GEGEC Winter Newsletter

GEGEC Winter 2024

Greetings to all our neighbors in the Greater East Grand Region — We are pleased to bring you this update from the Greater East Grand Economic Council (GEGEC) as 2024 gets underway in our communities. But first, some background about the purpose of the organization and what its aspirations are for the region’s future.

GEGEC was founded as a local non-profit in 2021 after a two year economic planning project supported by local citizens. The geography and name of the region was citizen-designated and determined by history, natural resources, and the local economic, education, health care, and community activity surrounding Danforth.

The council’s purpose is to help advance the economic well-being of the people living in the region by providing economic development assistance to twelve widely distributed communities, situated in an underserved and remote area of Eastern Maine. The communities are Amity, Orient, Weston, Bancroft, Haynesville, Glenwood Plantation, Reed Plantation, Drew Plantation, Brookton, Forest, Forest City and Danforth.

Most importantly, we believe that engaged residents inspired by a collaborative and coordinated economic development plan can turn the regional assets into opportunities. Projects led by committed organizations and individuals are demonstrating that this belief holds true.

Thank you for all you do to help the Greater East Grand Region become an economically stable, well-served, and welcoming group of communities that work together to attract and retain people of all ages to live, work, visit and play.

The Regional Broadband Network Construction will begin in early spring 2024. Consolidated Communications (Fidium) and the Maine Connectivity Authority (MCA) signed their agreement in December to release $8.1 million in state funding to build the network. By this time next year, at the latest, residents and businesses across the region will have a high-speed fiber broadband service available.

Winter Tourism – It is too early to know but if last year was any indication winter tourism via snowmobile enthusiasts will continue to grow in the region. The volunteer snowmobile clubs are to be thanked for bringing new winter activity to local businesses. Everyone looks forward to it continuing.

Downtown Danforth continues to move its revitalization projects forward with new grants for an expanded library, the pavilion building, fish passage, and land use planning.

East Grand School’s Campus Additions The Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) program is in its second year and continues to offer apprenticeships, work experiences and career planning activities to middle and high school students – helping to unleash their aspirations and build the region’s future workforce. Early in 2024, the new office for the ELO & Career Prep programs opens on campus. GEGEC is excited to have its new office in the building to better serve the region. 

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