February 21, 2003
The University of Maine at Fort Kent will be one of only two stops in the St. John Valley for a group of more than 30 state lawmakers on an economic tour of eastern and northern Maine.
The legislators, some of whom have never been on the campus or even traveled to Fort Kent, will board a northbound bus in Augusta on Wednesday, February 26 for the three-day tour. The final day of the excursion, Friday, February 28, will begin in Nadeau Hall on the UMFK campus with an hour-and-a-half visit beginning at 8:15 a.m.
While visiting UMFK, lawmakers will hear from President Richard Cost about the campus, its programs and how they tie into the local economy, and about the university's future.
The visiting delegation will also see firsthand the new state-of-the-art technology equipment, valued at $300,000, that was recently installed in the teleconference room of Nadeau Hall.
The Teleconference Center can be used as one large independent multimedia and teleconferencing facility, or two smaller simultaneously operational facilities.
Its capabilities include cassette, CD, VCR, cable TV, and DVD playback as well as live audio and video teleconferencing. It can also display information, including the World Wide Web, from an existing onboard desktop computer, or a laptop computer brought by the presenter.
All of the video is displayed on three independently controlled five by six foot screens, and all of the audio comes to the audience through an impressive sound system, which is supported by 24 overhead microphones.
Cost will make use of the new technology in his presentation before the legislators.
Following their visit to UMFK, the lawmakers will stop by the Maine Winter Sports Center facility for a briefing, demonstration and tour of the facility, before leaving the Valley for the Millinocket area.
Some of them, however, will remain behind to participate in the annual Can-Am Crown Sled Dog Race in Fort Kent on the following day.
The economic tour of eastern and northern Maine is coordinated by the Maine Development Foundation Policy Leaders Academy.
The non-partisan, educational program is designed to help legislators understand Maine's dynamic economy, the unique characteristics of its regions, the drivers of long-term growth, and the impact of public policy decisions on business investment and regional economic vitality.
This year's theme is 'Higher Education and the Economy,' focusing on the connection between the education and skill level of Maine's workforce and the state's long-term economic growth.