Dover-Foxcroft: Mark Scarano, Executive Director of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC) has tendered his resignation. In an announcement to the PCEDC's Executive Committee, Scarano said that he had accepted a similar economic development position in Grafton County, New Hampshire.
"I can't say enough how fortunate Piscataquis County is to have such dedicated County Commissions, Selectmen, and Town Mangers," Scarano said. "Economic development comes much more easily when area leaders resolve to work together and fight economic problems as a united front."
Scarano has been working for the PCEDC for seven years. During that time the PCEDC grew as an institution. "Under Mark's leadership, the PCEDC has received greater financial support from Piscataquis County and area businesses," stated PCEDC President Scott Hersey. "This has enabled us to expand the number of economic development services we can offer businesses and communities." Hersey noted that, when the PCEDC was founded, its primary activities were business attraction, business retention, and cultural/heritage development. Since then, the Council has added community development and tourism development to its list of responsibilities.
Asked what he thought were the highlights of his tenure, Scarano responded that he took great pride in helping organize the effort to develop the Penquis Higher Education Center in Dover-Foxcroft. "We heard loud and clear from many of our manufacturers that their employees needed access to more training programs. The PHEC will provide that opportunity for decades to come," Scarano said. Hersey added that Scarano's efforts to build support for the county-wide economic development plan created direction for the PCEDC's efforts. "The county economic development plan focuses us on building the county's already strong assets including wood manufacturing, the creative economy, and tourism," said Hersey.
Scarano also discussed the PCEDC's role in obtaining grant funds to assist the expansions of JSI Store Fixtures, Pleasant River Lumber, Creative Apparel, X-Ring Industries, and American Pride. "In these times of increasingly stiff overseas competition," Scarano remarked, "the County is fortunate in having such top-notch management. Whether it be Moosehead Manufacturing, Interface Fabrics, or Hardwood Products, our corporate leaders are true survivors."
Other victories included Legislative authorization for Piscataquis County to borrow for economic development projects, succesful grant applications for the Greenville business incubator building, and finding funds for the Eastern Piscataquis Industrial Park in Milo. "None of these job-creating projects would have happened without a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors," Scarano said. "There is nothing that can't be accomplished here in Piscataquis County when limited resources are combined and people pull in the same direction. I will really miss Piscataquis County's 'can-do' attitude."
Scarano's last day will be on August 11th. According to Hersey, the PCEDC will start its search for a new executive director immediately.
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