Wednesday, 04 October 2017 06:46

Erin Herbig launches business tour Featured

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SEARSMONT - Maine House Majority Leader, Erin Herbig (D - Belfast) launched her "Waldo County Works" business tour. She's visiting local businesses around Waldo County to discover ways to help their industry grow.

"This is all about having having conversations with business owners, with the families that own them, with the people that work there because we need to know that the policies in Augusta are working for the rural part of the state, not just in Southern Maine," said Herbig. 


In a state that's aging, officials are trying to find new innovative ways of helping the local economy.


"I think it's great for legislators to come out and get a feel for what the business owners and operators and employees are putting up with for day to day issues," said Alden Robbins, the Vice President of Robbins Lumber Inc. "So when they are talking about legislation or informing legislation they understand how it might impact businesses like ourselves."


The lumber industry is one of many that was impacted by mill closures but it's not going away anytime soon.


"The forest sector is still an eight billion dollar industry in this state," said Robbins. "A lot of people don't realize that, it has a very serious impact on this state GDP.  We have to get the word out, while we have taken some hits, we're very much a relevant and important driver in this state.


Officials say the industry just needs revamping to adapt to modern demands.


"Robbins Lumber Inc. is on the front lines modernizing their industry to make sure we have good paying jobs, keep younger people here," said Herbig. "Let's keep that going, let's make people know, we have Waldo County solutions to keep people in Waldo County."


Robbins Lumber Inc. is building a biomass, a project they feel will create new jobs and business opportunities.


"We have to look at the new uses for the forest products, whether that's nanocellulose, 3D printing, mass timber, all kinds of different uses for wood that surrounds us," said Robbins, "We're one of the most forested states in the nation, we gotta start figuring out how we use this."


Robbins Lumber Inc. was just stop number one for Herbig. She's planning on visiting other businesses in Waldo County throughout the rest of October.


"This tour is about showcasing the great stuff going on in Waldo County so we can bring people here," said Herbig. "It's about improving the businesses that we have here so they're creating good paying jobs."

Jack Hilton

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Jack Hilton joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX Fox 22 in March of 2016. He was born in Montreal, Canada but was raised in the sunshine state, Fort Lauderdale before graduating cum laude from Husson University with a Bachelor’s deg...