Story posted May 14, 2006
Bowdoin College economist David Vail is serving as a consultant to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network on its forthcoming television series Hometown Economies.
The six-part series focuses on the revitalization of economically distressed Maine towns and regions: Bangor/Brewer, Limestone, Lincoln, Rockland, Waterville, and Wilton. Each installment explores creative ways to overcome the loss of traditional employers, such as shoes, paper, fish processing, and military facilities.
The series, which will air in the fall of 2006, is produced by MPBN's Steve Dunn.
Vail also recently recorded an in-depth interview about efforts to develop a coherent economic strategy for Maine's "rim counties," including controversial plans to develop resort communities on or near Maine's Moosehead and Millinockett lakes. The interview is available as a podcast on Bowdoin College's Web site.
Vail was joined in the interview by Bowdoin senior Lauren Withey of West Rockport, Maine, a government and environmental studies major, minoring in economics. In the interview, Withey discusses her recent field research in the Katahdin region, where some communities are struggling to come to terms with the collapsing paper industry.
David Vail is Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics at Bowdoin College and a member of Governor Baldacci's Steering Committee on Natural Resource-based Industries. He currently directs a research and advocacy project, Spreading Prosperity to All of Maine, that shares the MPBN series' focus on the social and economic challenges facing Maine's rural communities. Spreading Prosperity is a project of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), an Augusta-based think tank. Vail is a founding MECEP board member.