$4.5 million for a new research park at the Près Isle airport

The U.S. Department of Commerce is providing a $4.5 million grant to the City of Près Isle for the construction of a new aerospace research park at the Près Isle International Airport, along with an access road and a parking.

The project is expected to create or maintain 140 jobs through the expansion of an aerospace tenant that already has a presence at the airport, according to a Commerce Department press release. The Economic Development Authority investment will be combined with $1.1 million in local funds, which is expected to generate approximately $30 million in private investment.

The funding will help preserve 15 current positions and create a minimum of 126 new jobs, according to Kim Smith, resource development and public information manager for the town of Près Isle. The current aerospace company, housed in a hangar at the Près Isle airport, would be the first in the new research park.

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Almost Isle in its efforts to diversify and grow the region’s economy,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo. “The construction supported by this EDA investment will allow an existing tenant in the aerospace industry to expand its business operations and create quality, well-paying jobs in the area.”

The state-of-the-art facility aims to promote the recruitment of highly qualified individuals and introduce students from area high schools and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics to the many opportunities in STEM research and related fields, according to the congressional delegation from the Maine.

“We welcome this investment at the Almost Isle International Airport, which will help maintain and create well-paying jobs at the research park, allow existing businesses to grow and attract new business,” said Senator Susan Collins, Senator Angus King and Congressman. Jared Golden in a joint statement.

More details are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks and months regarding the project’s scope and schedule.

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