Friday, December 24, 2010

Power Line Construction in Maine Set to Add up to 1,000 New Jobs

Central Maine Power Company has selected three contractors to lead the transmission line construction of the company’s $1.4 billion Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP). The contracts, worth a total $524 million, were awarded to MYR Group, Inc., Irby Construction Co., and Hawkeye, LLC.
These contractors will share responsibility for the construction of nearly 440 miles of high voltage transmission lines as part of a project team of more than 150 consulting firms, contractors, and suppliers, including nearly 120 Maine-based companies. CMP plans to host a job fair for individuals, contractors, and suppliers in mid-January.
“We’re building a stronger, smarter grid for Maine,” said Sara Burns, president of Central Maine Power Company. “Nearly 1,000 people have worked on this project to date, and we expect as many as 1,000 jobs will be added in this next phase of construction. The Maine Power Reliability Program is creating jobs when Maine really needs them, and it ensures Maine will have an efficient, reliable grid with benefits for consumers and the environment long into the future.”
The Maine Power Reliability Program is the largest construction project ever undertaken in Maine. A 2009 study of the economic impacts of the project by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine estimated that direct employment on the project could spur as many as 800 more jobs in indirect employment. Signs of these indirect benefits have already spread quickly to communities along the transmission route as local businesses began catering to the workers preparing transmission corridors for construction.
CMP’s Maine Power Reliability Program includes the construction of five new 345-kilovolt substations and related facilities linked by approximately 440 miles of new transmission lines. The company broke ground on the project in September after a two-year review by local, state, and federal agencies. The lines run through 75 cities and towns from Eliot to Orrington, providing reinforcement for the company’s 40-year-old system and creating greater capacity for the integration of new generation in the New England region. The company expects to complete the project by mid-2015.
“While the MPRP is first and foremost a reliability investment, it’s also part of a broader strategy to add transmission capacity, improve efficiency, and integrate new technologies in our system,” said Burns. “With the support of our parent company Iberdrola, we’re making investments in Maine’s infrastructure that will produce enormous benefits for consumers and the environment.”
CMP expects the new contractors to start work soon, beginning with an effort to find local subcontractors and employees to fill out their workforce. CMP has scheduled a daylong MPRP Business and Employment Expo to be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

Students Take Downeaster to Bring Toys to Children

Excitement was in the cold air in Wells on the morning of December 14 as the second grade class and multi-age 1-2 students from Wells Elementary School boarded the Amtrak Downeaster at the Wells Transportation Center. They were embarking on a rail journey to Portland to deliver new toys to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The students, their teachers and 35 chaperones (mostly parents) were invited to take this free round trip excursion courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Amtrak. Each student was carrying one toy to donate to a child in need this holiday season.
“I am not sure all of our students have been on the Amtrak,” said Principal Marianne Horne about children under her watchful eye minutes before they boarded the train. Horne indicated the trip was not just a train ride but also an opportunity for students to demonstrate one of the school’s core values, compassion. “So today is our day, December 14th,” added Horne.
The trip to Portland took about 40 minutes with a couple of stops along the way. At the Portland Transportation Center in Portland, students handed their gifts to representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Once the toys were transferred, students had about an hour’s wait before their return trip to Wells. They boarded their waiting train, ate lunch and listened to stories, such as the “Polar Express.”
Photo caption: An Amtrak conductor looks on as elementary students, teachers and parents board a train to Portland from Wells to deliver toys to Toys for Tots on December 14. (Photo by Reg Bennett)

York Art Association Awards Scholarship to Local College Student

The York Art Association’s scholarship committee is pleased to announce that York resident, Isabella Rotman, was selected to receive the 2010 Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship in the amount of $7,500. Rotman is a sophomore Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Letitia Moore passed away in 2007 and named York Art Association as her primary beneficiary. The Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship was established by the York Art Association in 2009. The scholarship honors Moore’s wish to provide tuition scholarships to deserving art, and/or art history students. Moore was an artist herself, a member of YAA, and a generous benefactor. Recipients of the Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship must have completed one year at an accredited college or university, be enrolled in a studio art or art history program, and have a GPA of at least 3.0.
Rotman is a graduate of York High School, and was the recipient of York Art Association’s scholarship for high school graduates in 2009. Despite her young age, Rotman has already received many accolades, including: being a recipient of a School of the Art Institute of Chicago Merit Award, The Maine Arts Education Award upon graduation from high school, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (both national and state-level awards), a Seacoast Art Association Scholarship, an Ogunquit Playhouse Scholarship, and even a Haystack Student Weekend Scholarship. Rotman works in many mediums, but is especially passionate about drawing. Rotman hopes to someday work in the exhibits department of a science and natural history museum. She recently interned at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where she was able to gain experience in creating models, working on dioramas, and an overall understanding of the realities of her chosen career path.
Rotman exemplifies an excellent work ethic and is already giving back to her community. In order to offset her college expenses, Rotman worked three jobs this past summer. One of these jobs involved teaching art classes through the York Parks and Recreation Department to children ages three through ten.
The York Art Association feels confident that it has successfully chosen a candidate that Letitia Moore would have been proud to have helped reach their educational goals. Rotman is extremely thankful to all the members of the York Art Association scholarship committee for selecting her as this year’s Letitia Moore Charitable Trust Scholarship recipient. She says that, “It is going to do more for me than any of them could possibly know.”