$8.5 billion forest-based industry poised for investment, innovation and workforce advancements

BANGOR — A statewide forest products coalition has awarded a two-year contract for marketing, public relations and coalition building to Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications of Bangor. 

Maine’s Forest Opportunity Roadmap, or FOR/Maine, released an action plan in September of 2018 with a goal of creating actionable steps to grow Maine’s forest-based economy. The plan included a combination of transportation, community outreach, workforce development, and strategic investment attraction. A federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration was awarded to the Maine Forest Products Council to help fund the communications and public relations effort. 

“FOR/Maine is very pleased to be working with a Bangor firm with a full deck of capabilities and long-standing relationships with multiple natural resource and forestry firms,” stated Steve Schley, chair of FOR/Maine’s Executive Committee. “Sutherland Weston understands the very broad, diverse goals of FOR/Maine and its partners and has the capacity to integrate all the elements into packages that will inform the public and excite potential investors.”

Sutherland Weston has a 15-year history of working with businesses, organizations and causes throughout Maine. The firm will utilize that experience to develop strategies to increase awareness, participation, and collaboration among the key audiences outlined in the FOR/Maine’s initial report

“We’re honored to be selected by this respected coalition,” said Cary Weston, partner at Sutherland Weston. “We look forward to sharing the many positive stories of innovation happening right here in our state. Our collective goal is to help build a strong and diverse forest products industry for Maine’s future.” 

The forest products industry accounts for more than $8 billion in economic activity in Maine. Despite trends in paper mill closures in recent years, the industry is poised for growth as new innovations, global opportunities and consumer trends to bio-based products grow. 

More details on the FOR / Maine initiative can be found at formaine.org