Aroostook Aspirations Initiative to receive Champion of Economic Development Award

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) is one of four recipients selected to receive the 2017 Champion of Economic Development Award from Maine Development Foundation. The Champion of Economic Development Award was created to recognize the exceptional work of an individual or organization in advancing the strategic priorities of the Maine Development Foundation as they work to strengthen the Maine economy, increase the productivity of our workforce and realize the vision of a high quality of life for all Maine people.

AAI’s Executive Director, Kristen Wells, is honored to bring this award to The County, and hopes it increases awareness of the need for economic development throughout the region.

“We know that our goals to increase degree attainment and reduce out-migration of our youth will make an economic impact in Aroostook County,” says Wells. “It’s great to have our efforts and our commitment to economic prosperity of our region recognized by Maine Development Foundation with this award.”

Award recipients were required to meet the following criteria in order to be considered for this award:

• Demonstrated commitment to economic growth in Maine at the state, regional or local level.
• Demonstrated ability to collaborate and create partnerships in order to accomplish objectives.
• High professional standards that model behavior for others.
• Innovativeness of idea/approach to economic development.

AAI’s Founders, Ray and Sandra Gauvin, are gratified that the organization has been recognized for its efforts.

“We are honored to receive the Champion of Economic Development Award. We see Aroostook Aspirations Initiative as a catalyst in rebuilding Aroostook County’s economy through educating our young people, helping them to stay here, and giving them the tools they need to build a successful career right here,” said Sandra Gauvin. “Right now, businesses in
Northern Maine are begging for a trained workforce. Without that workforce, we will have no economy in the future. We need to make sure that we have educated young people to step into these positions, raise their families here, and perpetuate the benefits that a strong economy can bring. That’s what we’re all about.”

The Maine Development Foundation is a private, non-partisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the State of Maine. “We’ve always believed that education attainment is the number one driver of
economic success,” says Yellow Breen, CEO of Maine Development Foundation when announcing AAI as recipient of the award.

Aroostook Aspirations Initiative will be present to receive the award at the Maine Development Foundation Annual Meeting on September 28, 2017 at Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.