Residents are invited to learn more about the Sagadahoc County Working Communities Challenge

Senator Angus King stopped by to tour the Midcoast Youth Center on June 2 to learn about the program and the new challenge from working communities in Sagadahoc County, Maine. Photo courtesy of Midcoast Youth Center

The Sagadahoc County, Maine Working Communities Challenge Initiative will host a community forum from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 at the Montgomery Theater at Morse High School.

Community members are invited to learn more from a panel of core team partners about the project’s goal of reducing youth hopelessness by 15% in 10 years and improving health and the economic outcomes of young adults. The team hopes to inspire others in the community to get involved in creating a comprehensive network of programs, health care, education, mentorship, training and jobs to achieve this goal.

The forum will be led by Raye Leonard, Director of the Sagadahoc County WCC, and Jamie Dorr, Executive Director of the Midcoast Youth Center, along with community and business partners who are critical to the cross-cutting strategy to implement the goals of the grant.

Partners include Claire Berkowitz, president and CEO of Midcoast Maine Community Action; Barbara Reinersten, executive director of United Way of Mid Coast Maine; Bill Haggett, retired CEO of Bath Iron Works; Emily Ruger, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Bath; Dr. Deb Hagler, medical director of the Mid Coast Center for Health & Wellness; Melissa Fochesato, Director of Community Health Promotion for Mid Coast-Parkview Health; Katie Joseph, Assistant Superintendent of Regional School Unit 1; Devon Gallice, Vice Principal of Morse High School; Julie Kenny, director of Bath Tech, and Allen Lampert, director of Merrymeeting Adult Education, as well as youth and young adults.

This core team of Sagadahoc County partners was selected by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to receive a $375,000 Maine Working Communities Challenge grant in March.

The Working Communities Challenge is a three-year grant initiative supported by the Boston Fed, the State of Maine, state and local philanthropy, and private sector employers that aims to strengthen rural Maine towns.

Six Maine Working Communities Challenge teams received grants to begin implementing proposals that address local economic issues, including poverty and lack of job opportunities.

All 16 Maine counties were represented in the 22 entries the challenge received from teams hoping to enter its design phase. A judging panel comprised of a subset of the local Maine Working Communities Challenge steering committee selected eight teams to enter the design phase, and the six teams are the final implementation grant winners.

The Maine Working Communities Challenge is under the umbrella of the Boston Fed’s Working Places initiative. Working Places focuses on improving the lives of people in cities and regions of New England and its post-industrial small towns. Its model unites people from diverse community sectors around a common vision for change.

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