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(Berlin, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today spoke with regional economic development leaders at a roundtable discussion in Berlin about the unique economic challenges facing North Country residents and businesses, the work Shaheen has already done to benefit the North Country, and the path toward rebuilding the region’s economy.  Larry Kelly of Tri-Country Community Action Programs (CAP) hosted the meeting and highlighted the work they are doing to help area residents as they face an uncertain economy.


“New Hampshire’s economy is hurting during this crisis, and the challenges we face are magnified here in the North Country, especially Coos County where the unemployment rate is the highest in the state,” said Senator Shaheen.  “We’ve taken some positive steps toward getting our economy moving again that will benefit the North Country, but revitalizing this area will take a long time and a sustained effort. I’m committed to working with North Country leaders and organizations like the Tri-Country CAP to ensure our efforts produce results for this region and all of New Hampshire.”


“Senator Shaheen has been a recognized champion of the North Country and not simply by long distance,” said Larry Kelly, Executive Director of Tri-Country Community Action Programs.  “She has been a frequent, on the ground, participant in economic development projects and other issues vital to the North Country.  Tri County CAP appreciates her active and effective role in improving the economic recovery package, which will help create jobs and directly benefit the citizens of the North Country.”


Since taking office in January, Senator Shaheen has fought for programs that directly benefit residents of New Hampshire’s North Country, including working for tax cuts, housing assistance, weatherization programs to create jobs, increased support for community health centers, and more. 


Kelly hosted the roundtable at Tri-County CAP’s office in Berlin. Other participants in the roundtable conversation included: Jon Freeman, Executive Director, Northern Communities Investment Corporation; John Dyer, Director of Business Development and Continuing Education, White Mountains Community College; Racheal Stuart, Senior Program Director, Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund at NH Charitable Foundation; Mike King, Executive Director, North Country Council; Denise Vallee, Director of Finance & Administration, Town of Gorham; Bill Andreas, Director, Business Enterprise Development Corporation (BEDCO); Scott Labnon, Owner, Town & Country Motor Lodge; Peter Riviere, Director, Coos Economic Development Corporation; Willis Blevins, Fraser Paper; Cathy Conway, VP, Northern Communities Investment Corporation; Ed Deblois, Fraser millworker; Max Makatis, Executive Director, Androscoggin Valley Economic Recovery Corporation; Jim Wagner, General Manager, Woodstone; and  state and local elected officials.