Pingree Welcomes $454,000 Federal Grant to Create Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center
Washington, DC, September 27, 2017
The Center will team up with industrial partners, trade organizations, construction firms, architects, and other stakeholders in the region to revitalize and diversify Maine’s forest-based economy by bringing innovative mass timber manufacturing to the State of Maine.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) today welcomed news of a major federal grant from the Economic Development Administration to create the Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center at the University of Maine.
“The first step to revitalizing Maine’s critical forest products industry—and bringing back the jobs it has supported for generations—is finding and commercializing new innovations for those products. The University of Maine has done fantastic work in this regard, notably in mass timber products that can compete with concrete and steel in building practices,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “With our natural resources and hard-working labor force, Maine is in a great position to capitalize on that potential. I’m excited to see what developments come out of the Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center and have been proud to work with Maine’s Congressional Delegation to help bring federal resources to help write the next chapter of Maine’s forest products industry.”
Mass timber products, such as cross-laminated timber, have the increased strength needed to build taller, multi-story buildings than with conventional lumber.
The Economic Development Administration i6 grant is for $454,532. According to the EDA, “This EDA investment funds the creation of the Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center, based at the University of Maine. The Center will team up with industrial partners, trade organizations, construction firms, architects, and other stakeholders in the region to revitalize and diversify Maine’s forest-based economy by bringing innovative mass timber manufacturing to the State of Maine. The emergence of this new innovation based industry cluster will result in positive economic impacts to both local and regional economies, particularly in Maine’s rural communities.”
Pingree has worked work with the rest of Maine’s Congressional Delegation to bring an Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) to Maine to study ways to revitalize the state's forest products economy and bring federal resources to implement the team’s recommendations. She is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and has worked with her colleagues on fully funding the Forest Service budget and the EDA.