With their hands on the oversized pair of scissors, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) and U.S. Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) prepare to cut the ribbon at the Union River Center for Innovation in Ellsworth Tuesday morning. Watching, from left, are John Butera, senior economic adviser to Governor Paul LePage; Chuck Hewitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer at The Jackson Laboratory and past president of the Ellsworth Business Development Corp. (EBDC); Ellsworth City Council Chairman Bob Crosthwaite; Karen Stanley, EBDC chairwoman; and Gretchen Wilson, executive director of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER

Officials gather for ribbon-cutting at business incubator facility



ELLSWORTH — City, state and federal officials came together Tuesday to officially open the Union River Center for Innovation, projecting that the business incubator facility will be a success and a key part of the city’s economic development future.

“The city of Ellsworth will be beneficiaries of the opportunities for these young entrepreneurs,” said Karen Stanley, chairwoman of the Ellsworth Business Development Corp. (EBDC).

The city bought the former Community Health and Counseling Services building on Water Street in the fall of 2015. Now that the business incubator is open, it will be run as a partnership between the city and EBDC.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the incubator will provide small businesses with a space to get started and grow. That, in turn, means young people will be able to find good jobs here instead of having to leave the state when it comes time to look for work.

Her colleague, U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), said companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon all “started in a place like this” — a place for a few people with an idea to come together and turn it into something real.

King cited four P’s that are necessary to make projects like this one succeed: plans, partnerships, perseverance and passion. He said the people who made the incubator a reality, including Ellsworth Economic Development Coordinator Micki Sumpter, incorporate the four P’s into their work.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) said government needs to “support job creators at all levels, and that’s exactly what you folks have done here.”

Echoing what King said, Poliquin said the incubator facility will help people who have good ideas get a start in the business world. He said it is important to make sure future generations have a better world to live in, and that this is one way to help ensure that.

“More jobs, more opportunities, better lives for our kids,” he said in summary.

John Butera, senior economic adviser to Governor Paul LePage, spoke on behalf of the Governor and thanked the different agencies and government agencies that helped make the incubator facility a reality.

Speakers also recognized GenoTyping Center of America (GTCA) as the incubator’s first official tenant. Kat Taylor, director of business development for GTCA, is an EBDC Board member.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.