Press Release

Portland, Oregon — June 28, 2024 — The Maine Connectivity Authority today awarded more than $12 million in grants to fund digital improvements to 12 community organizations across Maine.

The grants are part of the Maine Connectivity Authority’s Connectivity Hubs Program, which will help community anchor institutions – such as libraries, community centers, municipal and tribal buildings, and affordable housing developments – provide workforce training, education and telehealth services in areas most impacted by a lack of access to high-speed internet. The Connectivity Hubs Program is funded through the ARPA Capital Projects Funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

“Ensuring Americans have access to reliable, high-speed internet is crucial to helping families succeed in the 21st century economy,” said Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “This investment is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments to unlock economic opportunities for everyone and to ensure families have access to critical work, education, and health care services.”

Grants were awarded for capital improvements to community anchor institutions, funding construction, renovation and essential assets like affordable devices for public access and lending programs. These improvements will create space for people to access educational and workforce training programs, use telehealth to improve access to care, and provide access to high-speed internet, computers, and technical support, especially for those facing the most barriers to connecting.

Connectivity Hub investments are part of MCA’s strategy to advance digital equity for all: to ensure that all Maine people have access to and are able to use information and communications technologies so they can fully realize the civic, economic, health, educational, social and other benefits that they provide.

“There’s no single solution that will make fast, reliable internet available to everyone in Maine who wants it,” said Andrew Butcher, president of the Maine Connectivity Authority. “But we know that the digital divide has the biggest negative impact on people living in rural communities, older Mainers, veterans, people with disabilities and other marginalized populations. The Connectivity Hub program makes critical investments in community organizations so they can help all people in Maine fully realize the civic, economic, health, educational, and social benefits of that connection.”

The twelve organizations receiving grant awards include:

Aroostook Agency on Aging, Presque Isle, $400,989
Bridgton Public Library, Bridgton, $250,000
Caribou Public Library, $1,847,528
Franklin County Adult and Community Education, Farmington, $1,773,574
Hope Association, Rumford, $279,112
Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Houlton, $1,247,639
Mano en Mano, Milbridge, $1,784,497
Passamaquoddy Tribe at Motahkomikuk, $545,612
Seniors Plus, Lewiston, $900,000
St. George Municipal School Unit, Tenants Harbor, $684,715
Town of Stonington, Stonington, $1,753,420
YWCA Central Maine, Lewiston, $651,928

Following an open interest form, 15 projects were invited to submit a full application. Each awarded organization serves multiple covered populations, with a focus on individuals residing in rural areas. Additionally, it has expertise in delivering services to aging individuals, veterans, those facing language barriers, individuals with low literacy, members of racial or ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, low-income households and incarcerated/formerly incarcerated individuals.

Press Release

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