Maine Maine

In Progress

The Working Communities Challenge advances local collaborative efforts that build strong, healthy economies and communities in Maine’s rural towns, regions, and smaller cities. Launched in 2020, the initiative supports local teams working together to improve economic outcomes for all people in Maine’s towns, cities, and rural communities.

Successful teams will address economic growth and reduce inequity of opportunity tied to race, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity and background.

This unique three-year grant competition is supported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the State of Maine, national and local philanthropy, and private sector employers.

On Friday, November 20, FRBB staff will host a drop-in Question & Answer session from 12-1 PM. Anyone with questions about the letters of interest, the overall opportunity, or other details are welcome to attend. Register here to receive the login information for this drop-in Q&A.

What makes a community eligible?

Every town in Maine can be a part of an application, but the application must include a priority community, defined as those communities that have high economic need and opportunity for systems change (see list).

Multiple communities can join together to submit an application as a collection of places or a region.

Communities below 6,000 population must be part of multi-town application that reaches at least 6,000 residents.

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Priority Communities

  • Anson
  • Auburn
  • Augusta
  • Bangor
  • Bath
  • Belfast
  • Bethel
  • Biddeford
  • Blue Hill
  • Bridgton
  • Buckfield
  • Bucksport
  • Calais
  • Canaan
  • Caribou
  • Casco
  • Clinton
  • Corinth
  • Damariscotta
  • Deer Isle
  • Dexter
  • Dixfield
  • Dover-Foxcroft
  • Fairfield
  • Farmington
  • Fort Fairfield
  • Fort Kent
  • Gardiner
  • Hancock
  • Harrison
  • Houlton
  • Leeds
  • Lewiston
  • Limerick
  • Limestone
  • Lincoln
  • Livermore Falls
  • Machias
  • Madison
  • Milford
  • Millinocket
  • Milo
  • Naples
  • Newport
  • Norridgewock
  • Norway
  • Old Town
  • Orono
  • Otisfield
  • Oxford
  • Paris
  • Parsonsfield
  • Pittsfield
  • Portland
  • Presque Isle
  • Randolph
  • Richmond
  • Rockland
  • Rumford
  • Sanford
  • Skowhegan
  • St. Albans
  • Thomaston
  • Unity
  • Van Buren
  • Veazie
  • Waldoboro
  • Warren
  • Waterville
  • West Paris
  • Westbrook
  • Whitefield
  • Winslow
  • Winterport
  • Wiscasset

Note: All Native American Tribal Communities are Priority Communities.

Steering Committee

  • Gabriela Alcalde, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
  • David Daigler, Maine Community College System
  • Ed Cervone, Thomas College
  • Fowsia Musse, Maine Community Integration
  • Heather Johnson, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Kate Foye, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Kate Rush
  • Keith Bisson, Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
  • Laurie Lachance, Thomas College
  • Lelia DeAndrade, Maine Community Foundation
  • Liz Neptune, Neptune Advantage
  • Lynn Peterson, NeighborWorks America
  • Mike LeVert, Stepwise Data Research/Harold Alfond Foundation
  • Nicole Witherbee, John T. Gorman Foundation
  • Tiffany Breau-Metivier, Unum
  • Sara Gagne-Holmes, Maine Department of Health and Human Services
  • Amber Lambke, Maine Grains
  • Marcia Minter, Indigo Arts Alliance
  • Nicole Grant, Avangrid Foundation

Funders and Partners

  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Avangrid Foundation
  • State of Maine
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • Harold Alfond Foundation
  • John T. Gorman Foundation
  • Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
  • Bangor Savings Foundation
  • Skowhegan Savings
  • Maine Credit Union League
  • Dead River
  • Maine Community Foundation