Organizers cancel Brain Gain conference at UMFK

FORT KENT, Maine — Due to low registration numbers, the difficult decision to cancel the Brain Gain Population Attraction Conference was made by steering committee members on May 13.

   The event was to be held at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

   Organized by the Town of Fort Kent, UMFK and Northern Maine Development Commission, the Brain Gain Conference was geared toward attracting millennials, families and others to rural areas like Aroostook County.

   “Population decline is a pressing issue in Aroostook County,” said Robert Clark, executive director of NMDC. “Since 2010, Aroostook County population has dropped by more than 4,600.”

   Clark explained for every 1,000 people lost, the region loses $22 million in disposable personal income.

   “Less people in Aroostook County means a smaller workforce which translates into fewer people to create output and fewer people to earn income that supports demand for local goods and services,” he added.

   Clark said, although this conference to address population decline did not pan out, the behind-the-scenes work will be used to present the information in an alternate format at a future date.

   UMFK will refund early registrants.

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