Creating 120 New Jobs in Madison, Maine

author imagePosted by Mascoma Bank on January 4, 2022

Mascoma Community Development (MCD) is pleased to announce the successful closing of $20 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to support the redevelopment of a former paper mill into a wood fiber insulation manufacturing facility in Madison, Maine. Operated by GO Lab Inc., a company founded in 2017 to develop and manufacture innovative and environmentally responsible building products, the renovated mill will run three insulation production lines to make wood fiber loose fill, boards, and batts for the residential and light commercial construction markets, under the brand name TimberHP.

“The GO Lab manufacturing facility will help revitalize the rural community of Madison, a region greatly affected by economic hardship since the closing of this paper mill. We are proud to assist in financing a project that will stimulate job creation and operate in an environmentally-conscious manner,” said Tad Atwell, Chief Operating Officer of Mascoma Community Development.

MCD is a Community Development Entity established by Mascoma Bank to enhance, strengthen and revitalize low-income communities through the creation of quality jobs and community services. MCD stimulates economic opportunities for low-income residents throughout the United States with a focus on the Northeast, especially with investment in catalytic downtown redevelopment and business expansion projects.

The GO Lab facility was formerly owned by United Paper Mills Ltd., a paper manufacturer, which closed the mill in 2016. It was later decommissioned and remained vacant until recently. The resulting impact on the economy of Madison was detrimental, as the town experienced significant losses of both tax revenue and jobs. It’s estimated the 600,000 square foot facility will create 120 full-time jobs in the area, all of which will earn above a living wage for the county. In addition to economic stimulation, the GO Lab manufacturing facility will introduce an environmentally sustainable alternative to insulate residential and commercial buildings, all at a competitive cost for builders. Some of the facility’s environmentally safe initiatives include: 100% renewable energy on site, installation of a high efficiency boiler to reduce CO2 emissions, a new LED light system to reduce energy use, and sustainably sourced wood fiber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The wood fiber manufacturing facility is located in a severely distressed, non-metropolitan census tract within the community of Madison, Maine.  The project supports MCD’s mission by creating at least 120 full-time, impactful jobs with approximately 78 of those positions available to persons with an income less than 80% of the area median family income. The GO Lab facility will continue to inspire further investment in the community, while advocating for sustainable production processes that better the environment and are also economical.

In addition to the $20 million in NMTC allocation from Mascoma Community Development, MCD’s allocation was also supported by $3.48 million of NMTC allocation by a partner CDE that, together, provided the subsidy needed to complete the project. Wells Fargo Bank, NA is the NMTC investor.

“One of the truly exciting aspects about GO Lab is the positive impact we believe the company is going to have on employment and economic development in Madison and the surrounding area,” said Josh Henry, GO Lab president and co-founder. “We’re happy to have partnered with Mascoma Community Development and Wells Fargo Bank, NA on the financing required to renovate the mill and bring jobs and opportunity back to the region.”

Mascoma Community Development was awarded NMTC Allocation from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), a branch of the U.S. Treasury department. Using its tax credit allocation, MCD, as a nationally certified CDE, seeks to provide low-cost, flexible financing to businesses throughout the United States, with a focus on distressed communities in the Northeast. With its 2019 NMTC Allocation, MCD emphasizes creating impactful jobs in highly distressed low-income communities nationally. MCD targets operating businesses for their ability to create quality, accessible jobs in rural communities. MCD also targets downtown redevelopment projects that will help revitalize the community, provide services to residents, and create additional private investment. Mascoma Bank is a $2.6 billion mutual bank and Certified B-Corporation™ with 28 branches and 2 loan production offices throughout  Northern New England and is the controlling entity to Mascoma Community Development. The bank has a 122-year  history of being a force for positive change for its communities.