FAEM has a new website

Check it out www.faemchurches.org

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Western Maine Community Action Pellet Summit “a huge success.”

Western Maine Community Action hosted The Maine Pellet Summit – A Maine Solution at Strong Elementary School on Saturday, October 13, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Note: The summit was held as scheduled, and by all accounts was a huge success.

To see the agenda, click here: Pellet Summit Agenda

Click here to view the presentations.

The following is taken from the advance publicity that was distributed to media and stake holders:

“The summit seeks to increase public knowledge and appreciation for wood fueled heating and energy systems, especially among schools, municipalities, and small to medium businesses. These systems can reduce our energy costs and our dependence on petroleum based fuels, create and retain jobs in Western Maine, support sustainable forestry, boost the local economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The summit will bring together engineers and experts in bio-based energy systems, advocates for forest based economic and conservation initiatives, vendors of high efficiency pellet boilers and furnaces, school administrators,facility managers for schools, community colleges, municipalities and hospitals, local, state and federal representatives, selectpersons, business owners and private citizens. The goal is to inspire decision makers and concerned citizens to become actively engaged in pursuing wood to energy solutions in their local towns and communities. The presentations will feature successes already achieved, existing opportunities for grants and incentives, the bigger picture for combined heat and energy systems, vocational opportunities for technicians and installers, and more. There will be opportunities to visit the SAD 58 and Town of Strong municipal building installations, as well as a tour of the Geneva Wood Fuels pellet mill in town. Lunch will be provided.”

 

 

 

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WMCA Housing Services showing $300 thousand in Weatherization Savings

East Wilton— Western Maine Community Action (WMCA) provides low income weatherization programs to the Franklin County area of the State of Maine through federal funds.  WMCA delivers a quality weatherization program designed to make energy improvements to Maine’s aging and challenging housing stock. The improvements made to these dwellings assist families and elders in reducing their overall energy consumption and costs associated with the heating of their homes.

“Our collective energy conservation efforts with our local private contractors are making notable differences to our low income clients, as well as to Franklin County’s local economy,” said Housing Services Program Manager Bill Crandall.  “In Franklin County, the average annual income for an eligible fuel assistance household is approximately $17,000 and yearly energy fuel cost expenses make up roughly 13 percent of their annual income, or around $2,000 a year.”

“The truly significant importance of our collective statewide weatherization efforts is better shown at the county level.” said Crandall, “Based on our data, for every three units weatherized, approximately 1,000 gallons of fuel will be saved every year going forward.  Although WMCA is one of the smallest Community Action Agencies statewide, we were able to weatherize approximately 250 units in Franklin County during the last three years of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).” 

“The savings demonstrated from that effort equates to more than 80,000 gallons of fuel a year saved in Franklin County.  This translates to more than $320,000 a year that was not —and will not— be spent on heating oil going forward in our service area.  These energy savings will have continued significant impacts to our local economies statewide.” Crandall concluded.

“WMCA has been able to show significant savings in energy costs pre- and post-weatherization efforts for the winters covering 2010 and 2011 for each of these low income clients.  We have data showing an average annual dollar savings of roughly $1,200 and an average savings of 328 gallons a year per household” Crandall added.   “Recently one client that had used 1,100 gallons pre-weatherization said, ‘We only used 300 gallons this year [2012] and that was starting with an empty tank last fall!’”     

Savings by dwelling type is notable as well.  The average savings for the mobile homes were about 265 gallons and just under a $1,000 annually.  “Understandably, our single family homes showed an even greater savings, about 360 gallons and roughly $1,300 saved each year” Crandall said.  “These savings alone make a substantial difference to each of these families, especially to seniors faced daily with difficult choices and limited funds.  Reductions in energy expenses gives seniors savings they can use in other areas of our local economies, or on their health care needs”.

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Certified Lactation Counselor Certifications Awarded

Auburn— Ginny Andrews, Manager for Western Maine Community Action’s WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program and Erin Cotton, Registered Dietitian recently completed the Healthy Children Project’s 45 hour evidence based, comprehensive lactation course, and were awarded the Certified Lactation Counselor Credential.

The CLC credential signifies that the holder has demonstrated the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to provide breastfeeding counseling and management support to families who are thinking about breastfeeding or who have questions or problems during the course of breastfeeding/lactation. CLCs are dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding and human lactation in their work to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems. “As a certified lactation counselor, I support with patience and care, and will guide mothers with different position changes, tools, informational resources and the emotional support needed for a successful breastfeeding experience,” stated Cotton.

Counselors understand that breastfeeding works best when it is the cultural norm and when the provider of lactation support and services is culturally competent. Obtaining the CLC credential is a way of demonstrating your knowledge and skills in lactation management.  “Individuals who hold the CLC credential come from a variety of educational and employment backgrounds,” stated Andrews.  Individuals work as lactation counselors in settings including obstetric and pediatric practice settings, hospitals, public health programs, and independent practice.

WIC is a core member of the new community initiative “Breastfeeding in Business”, a media and outreach campaign to assist worksites and businesses in complying with the current lactation law. WIC, along with CMMC, St. Mary’s and Healthy Androscoggin will be promoting tips and tools on how to make your business breastfeeding friendly.

 WIC is a public health program providing health and nutrition information, referrals to health care and other social service programs, along with vouchers to purchase healthy foods including: milk, cheese, cereal, juice, eggs, peanut butter, whole grains, as well as fruits and vegetables.  Other members of the WIC staff who have earned the CLC credential are Cynthia Goding, Cindy Farrington, Meghan Parker, and Kathie Dolan.  For more information about WMCA and WIC go to www.wmca.org and click on Nutrition Services.

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2011 Poverty Report

Poverty Report Update Dec 2011The 2011 Poverty Report was recently released  by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy center on behalf of the Maine Community Action Association. The report reminds us how severe poverty is becoming and what the  variations are among the Counties in Maine.

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$10,000 Raised!

The Warm Hearts Warm homes fundraiser was a great success. For details click on http://www.dailybulldog.com/db/features/an-amazing-10000-raised-to-heat-homes/

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Upward Bound Students at WMCA

August 25, 2011   

Upward Bound Students at WMCA

 East Wilton- Upward Bound students recently completed a summer work experience at WMCA’s administrative office on Church Street in East Wilton.  “I would definitely want to work with the Upward Bound program again,” Patti Roberts, Human Resource Manager, said. “The students were wonderful young men and women to work with and helped quite a bit.”  

The students arrived each afternoon Monday through Thursday to work under the mentorship of WMCA staff.  Their jobs included data entry, reception, filing, painting, staining and grounds work.  They also contributed to two special projects; the creation of a test that is part of WMCA’s Learning Incentive Program, and “Pay It Forward”,  which is an advocacy project underway at WMCA.

Upward Bound is a federally funded program that assists qualified students to improve their skills while in high school and to prepare to enter and succeed in college. The summer program focused on academics in the morning and work experience in the afternoon.  For more information about Upward Bound go to http://umaine.edu/ub/

WMCA is a Community Action Agency providing services to low and moderate income people in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.  Agency programs include Community Services, Housing and Energy, Nutrition, Health, Keeping Seniors Home and Career Center Services.  Front row: Heather Doiron, Andrew Bernier, Sydney Longely

                Back row: Morgan Lueck, Rico Gortmans

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82 High Street Project is in the news!

The volunters from the 82 High Street Project were showcased in a recent news article in the Morning Sentinel. Check out http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/improving-their-community_2011-07-16.html to read the story.

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Mobile Home Renovations featured on WCSH6

Our work with renovating old and inefficient homes has been featured on WCSH6.  Check out WCSH6′s website to see the clip and read more about the work that we’re doing.  Thanks WCSH6!

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Posted in Press Releases