North Country consortium wins federal jobs grant
Funding awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture
A $708,750 federal grant designed to help spur the creation of jobs has been awarded to a consortium of North Country organizations.
The grant, which was announced by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has been awarded to the Northern Community Investment Corp., the Northern Forest Center, White Mountains Community College, Sustainable Forest Futures and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.
The funding, which requires a local match, will be used to support the Northern Tier Farm and Forest Jobs Accelerator program, which encourages economic growth by assisting communities in rural New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont to improve energy efficiency, develop new fuel sources, enhance the entrepreneurial environment, increase telecommunication capability, strengthen transportation infrastructure and improve regional marketing of specialized wood products, such as wood pellet fuel.
The grant will be used to provide training to encourage businesses and contractors to install boilers powered by locally produced wood pellets. In addition, they will provide small businesses with Internet sales training, develop strategies to expand high speed Internet access and begin planning for a regional agricultural processing facility and distribution network.
NCIC President Jon Freeman said the funding and subsequent projects will help increase local value-added production in the North Country's forest products and agricultural industries and create more than 500.
The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture.