Back in the day, large companies would help pay for projects in the towns and cities where they operated.  For example, they would pay for youth centers, parks, and even updates to local schools.

For a while, most companies got away from that.

Now, though, it looks like that idea is making a comeback.

Athletic shoe maker New Balance is not only one of the largest companies in Skowhegan, but it is also one of the largest companies in all of Central Maine.

It looks like the company is giving back.

According to the KJ, the company just pledged $250,000 to help pay for a new early learning center.  The announcement comes as the company breaks ground on a $65 million expansion to their Skowhegan factory.

The article explains that the early learning center will be incorporated into the area's new $75 million consolidated elementary school.  That school is being built on Heselton Street.

The center is expected to provide affordable child care and prekindergarten education for 160 Skowhegan-area children and it will reportedly be operated by the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, according to the newspaper, and both the school and center are expected to be completed by the fall of 2025.

The total amount needed for the center will be $5 million, the KJ stated.

Google Maps
Google Maps

The need for childcare in the area is skyrocketing.  Not only because there are fewer people offering it than there were prior to the pandemic, but also because many businesses are expanding.  This is leading to the area seeing more younger worker with kids.

For example, when the expansion is completed, New Balance will be hiring an additional 200 people, according to the KJ.

New Balance currently employs 780 people across its three Maine facilities in Skowhegan, Norridgewock and Norway.

I think we can all agree that it is so great to see a large company giving back to the community it operates in.

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