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Joyce Endee

Kestrel Aircraft chooses Wisconsin

January 16, 2012
BERLIN — Cate Street Capital has lost out on its bid to lure between 150 and 300 good-paying jobs to the Burgess BioMass site on the east side of the Androscoggin River.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced on Monday that Kestrel Aircraft Corp, now headquartered in Brunswick, Me., will establish its manufacturing facility and headquarters in Superior, Wis., creating up to 600 new jobs.

John Halle, CEO-president of Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, has been very optimistic that the presence of all elements that this particular high-tech industry needed would lead Kestrel to opt for a joint location in Berlin and Brunswick. Halle re-iterated that he remains committed to the City of Berlin and continues to believe that "capital attracts capital." It is just a matter of time before there is an appropriate match between the city and an entrepreneurial company looking to locate in a reviving area like the Androscoggin Valley.

The cooperation efforts of local Berlin-Gorham officials, state agencies, the local workforce, and the White Mountains Community College are outstanding, he said.

Gov. Walker's announcement that Kestrel had chosen a location in his state emphasized the "aggressive package that those in Wisconsin had put forth in conjunction with strong local support," that will lead to a huge boost to the Superior-area economy. Walker credited two state agencies — the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which will create an Enterprise Zone, and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, which plans to secure New Markets Tax Credits — for partnering with local officials to bring Kestrel to Superior.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
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