Aroostook could lose businesses if more workers don’t move there

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Aroostook County businesses may be forced to close or leave unless they can find a way to attract more workers, posing a challenge for a local group fighting a decades-long population slide.

The Northern Maine Growth Initiative is asking Presque Isle to seek a $150,000 Community Development Block Grant to hire a recruiter to bring immigrants and foreign workers to The County to fill labor shortages.

The recent drop in population has leaders warning that the effect on businesses could be dire, raising the stakes for a rural county that has lost 7.1 percent of its population in the last decade. Since last June, Aroostook has lost more workers than any other Maine county.

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