Vol. 4, Issue 144                                                       Oct. 14, 2016
News and notes from The Partnership and NMDC
Aroostook Partnership and WAGM-TV team up to provide candidate information to County residents

     AROOSTOOK COUNTY –  Aroostook County will host one of only two scheduled debates between the candidates for Maine's Second District Congressional Seat.  Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin and Democratic Challenger Emily Cain will take part in the live, televised exchange hosted by WAGM-TV and the Aroostook Partnership on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. 
    The hour-long debate will be held at WAGM-TV’s studio on the Brewer Road in Presque Isle and be broadcast on the television station's CBS affiliate.  In addition to airing live in northern Maine, the debate will reach viewers statewide as it will be simulcast on WMTW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Portland and WABI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Bangor.

    C-SPAN, the national cable and satellite network that airs Congressional proceedings and produces governmental public affairs programming, has also expressed interest in re-broadcasting the WAGM-TV/Aroostook Partnership Debate in its entirety as part of its coverage of key national races.
    "There is significant interest throughout the state and across the country in Maine's Second District Congressional Race," said WAGM-TV News Director Kelly OMara.  "We are pleased that both candidates have agreed to participate in the WAGM-TV/Aroostook Partnership Debate and that our broadcast partners in central and southern Maine will join us in sharing this debate throughout Maine.  This will not only ensure that questions of Aroostook County voters are asked, but that some key issues of national significance are addressed by the candidates before a statewide and possibly national audience."
    Questions asked of the candidates during the October 19th debate will be those submitted by residents of Aroostook County through an on-line submission form found on both the WAGM-TV and Aroostook Partnership websites.  In addition, the television station will seek out and videotape some questions asked directly by County residents, and accept questions mailed to the television station that include the full name, town and phone number of the individual. 
    "Aroostook County residents and organizations have a tremendous opportunity to have their questions asked to the individuals looking to represent us in Congress for the next two years," said Aroostook Partnership President and CEO Bob Dorsey.  "We strongly encourage folks to take advantage and submit questions.  The Aroostook Partnership is pleased to partner with WAGM, and now our downstate media partners, to bring this important forum to the people of Maine."  
    The debate will be moderated by OMara, who will be joined in asking the submitted questions by Aroostook Partnership Advocacy Committee Chairperson Jason Parent and WMTW-TV Political Reporter Paul Merrill.
    In addition to the Second District Congressional Debate, WAGM-TV and the Aroostook Partnership, in collaboration with the Aroostook County Chambers of Commerce, will host a series of Aroostook County Legislative Candidate Conversations on WAGM for two weeks, beginning October 24.  
Teacher/Business socials continue in Aroostook County
  Teachers and business people gathered in Fort Fairfield last spring to discuss the Aroostook County economy and job prospects in the region. A similar function was held in Madawaska last month and another will be held in Houlton Wednesday, Oct. 19.
    HOULTON — The third teacher/business social is in the works for the Aroostook Partnership. Educators in Southern Aroostook have been invited to meet with business people Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Lounge Downunder Sports Pub in Houlton at 4 p.m.
    Aroostook Partnership President and CEO Bob Dorsey said the idea for the socials came from the “Education to Industry” working group as they look for ways to increase County career awareness.
    “This effort is a continuation of a broader campaign to increase County business and employment awareness to ultimately increase retention efforts to secure our future workforce,” explained Dorsey.
    The most recent social was held at the Inn of Acadia in Madawaska in September.
    “The Saint John Valley event was excellent in that we had a wide array of businesses participate, the teachers were very interested in the employment data they received and we increased connections between schools and businesses which will hopefully lead to more tours or future collaboration,” summarized Dorsey.  “And the Inn at Acadia hotel did an excellent job of accommodating us.”
    Last spring the first successful teacher/business social was held at Boondocks in Fort Fairfield for educators in Limestone, Fort Fairfield and Easton.
    The Partnership has been compiling data on jobs, turnover rates and economic trends, which will be are displayed as well as provided to educators and guidance counselors at these socials. Already confirmed for the Houlton social are representatives from Louisiana Pacific, Katahdin Trust Company and F.A. Peabody. Dorsey said he hopes to have two or three more businesses represented at the function.
   “We want to do two things in this effort – one, provide teachers with employment info that they can share with their students and two, say thank you to them for their hard work in teaching our future workforce by providing some free appetizers and a drink or two in a relaxed informal setting,” added Dorsey.
    Dorsey said the ultimate goal of the “Education to Industry” work is to grow the 20- to 44-year-old workforce in Aroostook County and provide a more skilled workforce for emerging jobs and those open due to retirements. 
    A fourth teacher/business social is being planned for Presque Isle, Mapleton and Washburn later this year or early next Spring.
Investor News
New TAMC President named
    Brewer, ME – EMHS president and CEO, M. Michelle Hood, FACHE is pleased to announce that Gregory T. LaFrancois, CPA, MHA, FACHE, has been selected as the new president of TAMC. In this role, LaFrancois will also serve as a senior vice president of EMHS. Located in Presque Isle, TAMC is EMHS’ northernmost member.
    LaFrancois is currently president and CEO of Saint Aloisius Medical Center in Harvey, North Dakota. He has also served in many other healthcare leadership roles during his more than 28 year career, including CEO at Prairie Saint John’s Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota; chief financial officer (CFO) at Cumberland Hall Hospital in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and chief operating officer (COO) and CFO at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In addition, LaFrancois has an extensive military history serving at Fort Carson and Fitzsimons Medical Center in Colorado; Kimbrough Army Community Hospital in Fort Meade, Maryland; Walter Reed Health Care System in Washington, DC; and Office of the Army Surgeon General in Falls Church, Virginia.
    “I am looking forward to welcoming Greg to Maine,” says Michelle Hood. "He has considerable experience in delivering a quality experience for the patient, as well as high employee engagement. As someone well-versed in rural healthcare, he brings a unique perspective in caring for communities across a broad geography.”
    LaFrancois shares, “Leading a hospital is all about people. If you take good care of your team, your team will in turn provide a superior level of high quality care. I am excited to join the TAMC family and to have the opportunity to work with highly talented colleagues at both TAMC and throughout EMHS.”
LaFrancois is expected to begin his new duties at TAMC on November 14.
    TAMC is a major investor in the Aroostook Partnership and historically the President of TAMC sits on the AP Board of Directors.
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