Press Herald highlights importance of UMaine in local economy

The Portland Press Herald discussed the University of Maine’s contribution to the local economy when describing a report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston titled “College Towns and COVID-19: The Impact on New England.” The report found that Maine leads the region in the number of municipalities that depend heavily on colleges and universities for their local economies, according to the Press Herald. More than 10 percent of local jobs in Penobscot County were in higher education as of 2018. Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson told the Press Herald “the university and its students are the primary economic force in the town.” If UMaine decided not to open in the fall, she said the effects would be “sudden and severe.” Some businesses would suffer, and thus collecting property taxes could prove difficult, she said. UMaine also “pays $4.5 million to the town for emergency medical, firefighting, sewer and other services,” according to the Press Herald. The Associated Press highlighted the Press Herald’s reporting. The U.S. News and World Report, Bangor Daily News, WGAN, fosters.com and NCEN shared the AP report.