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Stimulus Funds Could Jump Start Maine Construction Projects

February 18, 2009

Maine stands to receive at least $317 million in new construction investments as part of a broader economic stimulus package being debated by Congress, the Associated General Contractors of America announced today. The funding would add new jobs, boost personal earnings, increase state economic activity and help fund vital transportation projects like the expansion of Portland's International Jetport and improvements to Interstate-295.

"The stimulus package now being debated in Washington has the potential to improve Maine's fortunes in ways that are as real as they will be immediate," said John O'Dea, chief executive officer of the association's Maine chapter. "These investments will lay a foundation for long-term economic growth that will benefit the state for generations to come."

O'Dea, who made the announcement after visiting the site of a planned terminal expansion for Portland's airport, said that the estimated construction funding levels for Maine would create or sustain over 7,680 jobs statewide. He noted that while 3,830 of those jobs would be in the construction or related fields, an additional 3,850 jobs would be created added throughout the economy as construction workers spend money on new goods and services.

Putting that many people back to work would increase personal earning levels statewide by $220 million while boosting Maine's gross state product by over $670 million, O'Dea added.

Mr. O'Dea noted the investments were necessary because the slowing economy has led to delayed transportation and construction projects across the state. As a result of that decline, he said over 3,200 construction workers have lost their jobs over the past year, 10 percent of the state's construction workforce.

He praised Maine's Congressional delegation for working to get a final stimulus package completed and to the President. "You don't often get an opportunity to put thousands of Mainers back to work, save hundreds of local businesses and give generations to come a lasting legacy of growth and prosperity. Getting the stimulus done is that opportunity."

Source: The Associated General Contractors of America

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