Katahdin Higher Education Center looks to expand with $4 million in Congressionally Directed Spending

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:14 PM EST
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EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine (WABI) - The Katahdin Higher Education Center is looking towards the future after receiving $4 million in Congressionally Directed Spending.

The Center helps local people further their education closer to home and even provides on-site childcare.

“We currently have a space that’s licensed for 26 children. We are looking to double the size of that. So, we essentially could serve up to 55 families in the Katahdin region. It’s an incredible opportunity, you know, once in a lifetime chance to be able to bring something that’s so needed to this region not only for the people that live and work here, but for new businesses looking to come to the region,” said Associate Academic Dean Deb Rountree.

After the Mill closed in 2008, thousands of people used the center as a means to develop a new career path.

“For so many years, you know, we relied on the paper industry and the paper industry is gone. But there’s new manufacturing and new industries looking to come here. The healthcare field is growing exponentially every day. You know, we provide hands on training here for CNAs for EMTs. And for the two-year RN program from eastern Maine Community College,” Roundtree said.

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, stopped by to listen in on how the funds will impact the local community.

“Well, the project here is daycare, which is critical to allowing people to go to work, not to mention educational assets for the young kids. So, if people have a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old, no daycare, they can’t go to work and we need workers all over Maine,” said King.

Groundbreaking is anticipated for later this summer.