Governor Baldacci Encourages Combined Economic Efforts Between Maine and New HampshireSeptember 12, 2006 - TRCPORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Governor John E. Baldacci stressed once again this morning the importance of regionalization to give Maine and New Hampshire a powerful, new economic future for the two-state region. Governor Baldacci made that statement at an economic summit being held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire called “Looking Beyond the Shipyard: Finding Common Ground on Which to Advance Our Regional Economy.”“York County in Maine, and Rockingham and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire have a combined population of over 600,000 and a labor force of over 350,000 workers,” said Governor Baldacci. “The region has low unemployment, a highly educated workforce, solid population gains and good job growth. We are planning the future from a position of strength.”Governor Baldacci supported the summit through his administration, which was attended by commissioners, regional professionals and former Maine Governor Angus King.“In today’s fast paced global economy, state and regional boundaries are no longer impediments to the flow of capital and labor,” said the Governor. “We must constantly strive to find comparative advantage and push the frontiers of economic development.”Governor Baldacci reminded the participants of the summit that it was just over a year ago that the two states stood together to fight the BRAC decision to close the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Because of the workforce from the two states and the efforts of Governor Baldacci and Governor Lynch, as well as the Congressional Delegations from the two states, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard remains open to this day. Governor Baldacci says that success will continue as the two states work together on projects such as expansion of the passenger rail system, broadband access, and R&D.“In the area of research and development, we have three major collaborations ongoing between the University of New Hampshire and Maine-based universities and research groups,” said Governor Baldacci. Current ongoing collaborations include The Green Chemistry Consortium with the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire; The Center for Environmental Health & Toxicology with the University of Southern Maine and the University of New Hampshire; and the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System with Portland field expertise combined with UNH academic expertise. In Maine, Governor Baldacci has also backed the expansion of passenger rail, recently issuing an Executive Order to continue rail service into more northern areas of the state; as well as expanding broadband access through his Connect ME initiative and the Connect ME Authority who had its first meeting last month.Governor Baldacci has also launched the WIRED project to boost the growth of Maine’s boat building industry, a Maine industry older than the state itself. “We are breaking new ground here through an industry lead collaboration that will result in business, jobs and income growth,” said Governor Baldacci. “That is something where Maine and New Hampshire should be proud to continue to work together.”CONTACT: Crystal Canney, 287-2531, (cell) 557-5968 Dan Cashman, 287-2531, (cell) 837-4821 Read Online: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?id=23699&topic=Portal+News&v=article-2006NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.