Support Our Mission

With your help, the future looks bright for Washington County.

As we approach the end of 2023, and celebrate our 30th year as an organization, we want to express gratitude for the community members, businesses and organizations that make Washington County, Maine, a very special place to live and work.

Sunrise County Economic Council initiates and facilitates the creation of jobs and prosperity in Washington County, Maine, by working hand-in-hand with community-minded businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and citizens. It is these partnerships that make our work so impactful. We invite you to be a part of this work by donating to Sunrise County Economic Council.

We know that when you consider how to get involved and give back to your community, it can be overwhelming to decide where your dollars can be most effective.

In 2023, every dollar that Washington County residents, businesses, and local governments invested in SCEC leveraged more than twenty dollars from state and federal agencies or private foundations based outside our county. 

It is our job to bring in resources from outside Washington County to invest here, but we need local contributions to unlock these funds. Your contribution to SCEC will help bring in even more investment in 2024.

MaineStreet Business Building in downtown Machias supports Washington County entrepreneurs and small businesses through coaching and workshops. Private offices and co-working spaces are available for rent and include high-speed broadband, office equipment and more.<br />

MaineStreet Business Building in downtown Machias supports Washington County entrepreneurs and small businesses through coaching and workshops. Private offices and co-working spaces are available for rent and include high-speed broadband, office equipment and more.

Family Futures Downeast participant celebrates her graduation from Washington County Community College with her daughter.
Family Futures Downeast participant celebrates her graduation from Washington County Community College with her daughter.

Invest in Communities.

SCEC helps Washington county towns to plan for the future, secure federal funds, and build the public infrastructure our economic future depends upon.

Provide Educational Opportunities.

We facilitate workforce training courses that award college credit – at no cost to participants – in industries such aquaculture, lobstering and forestry.

Support Families.

Family Futures Downeast‘s program takes a unique 2-gen approach by helping parents enroll in college while children enroll in high quality early education programs. SCEC’s fiscal leadership in this 6-partner collaboration provides financial support for families to thrive.

Assist Small Businesses. 

MaineStreet Business Building in the heart of downtown Machias, provides specialized training on entrepreneurship, business planning assistance, networking, and office space. Assistance with technology needs, internet costs, financing, and getting government contracts is also available.

Support Washington County-Centric Initiatives

From the Washington County Recovery Friendly Workplace Network that helps employers support employees in recovery, to the expansion of high-speed internet to remote areas, SCEC’s partnerships keep our communities’ needs central to our goals.

This is just a bit of what SCEC does in Washington County. We invite you to contribute what you can to ensure that this work continues to strengthen this special place we call home.

If you have any questions or would prefer to discuss pledge options and naming opportunities at MaineStreet Business Building, please let us know by contacting Denise Cilley, Associate Director, Sunrise County Economic Council via phone: 207-259-5103 or email.

Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Success Stories

Family Futures Downeast
Going to college is hard work. When you throw two kids and a full-time job into the mix, it’s even harder! Between cooking, cleaning, working, driving kids to soccer practice and helping them with homework, it’s hard for moms to find time to go back to school to continue their education when life at home and at work is already so hectic.

(FFD) works to remove many of the barriers that mothers face, so they can go to school. It is a two-generational program. So, while mom is in class, the kids are receiving quality early childhood education! FFD also provides transportation assistance, books, computers, and other supplies to the moms and kids as needed as well. By removing economic, cultural, and logistical barriers, parents can thrive as students.

Kristin Alley is a single mom of two. She was part of the first ever cohort to go through the FFD program. She said that “FFD was a great support system. The coaches and the other girls helped me get back into the swing of things and kept me going when things got a little tough.”

But FFD was not the only support she had. Her Machias Savings Bank (MSB) family also pushed her to keep studying and working hard every day. While in FFD, Kristin would take proctored exams or do homework in the breakroom at the Columbia location of MSB. There was even office space that she could use upstairs if she really needed a quiet place to work. Her boss not only said yes to these study sessions in the break room, but he encouraged them!

Kristin might be done with FFD but she certainly isn’t done with homework. She still has a few years left before she has her degree in hand. So, the break room at MSB still has quite a few more study sessions to be held.

Kristin wants to show her kids that anything is possible with a little hard work. She attributes her success to FFD. She said that if it were not for this program, she probably never would have gone back to school. But the support she received from her FFD coach, teachers, and MSB is allowing her to better her future and her children’s.

Pat's Pizza Machias
When Bill, Marti, Nate and Kayla Burke opened the doors to their brand new Pat’s Pizza, it was an instant hit for the town of Machias. Pizza, wings, and sandwiches at great prices and a relaxed dining area filled with flat screen TVs, it was perfect!

The road to opening day was long, but Bill says they did not go at it alone. Many different community players took on roles to help them get there. Bill calls them “his team”.

Ruth Cash-Smith from CEI was able to provide the Burkes with the business counseling they needed to complete their business plan. Machias Savings Bank approved them for a business loan, and Sunrise County Economic Council gave Pat’s Pizza a small business loan that helped fill their funding gap

Once their funding was secure and business took off, we were able to give them training including: ServSafe,  QuickBooks for record keeping, marketing, and even a training on Health Care options for employees.

SCEC also recently worked with Pat’s Pizza to provide grant funding through the Maine Wood Tourism Training Initiative for them to create a website and do some updating to their social media accounts. Their new website includes the original Pat’s Pizza Story and the Burkes’ personal story, as well as their menu items, daily specials, and contact information.

This new Pizza place not only provided the community with a new dining option, it also provided people in Machias with jobs. Cooks, Janitors, Wait Staff, Bartenders, Dishwashers, and Managers are just a few of the jobs that were available once their doors were opened. Right now, Pat’s Pizza employs 40 people in Washington County. And they’re still looking to hire a few more.

Now, 200,000 pizzas later, Bill says that the support he received from “his team” is a major reason that Pat’s Pizza in Machias is a success today. He loves his job and the community that he serves.

Your investment in Sunrise County Economic Council
makes stories like Kristin’s and The Burke’s possible.


“I love my community and I want to see it grow for my kids and my future grandkids. Personally, and as a business leader, I am passionate about doing my part to create and facilitate opportunity in this region. That is why I am supporting SCEC. We share the same passion.” 

Larry Barker

President, Machias Savings Bank

“FFD has shown me that anything this possible. Being a single mom working full time, you can still go to school. Had I not had the support of FFD I would not have been able to go back to school. They really pushed me to better my future and my children’s.”
Kristin Alley

FFD Student

“The folks at SCEC have been so helpful to the Downeast Institute from bookkeeping services to web design and administration.  Over the years, we have come to rely on SCEC’s assistance with grant-writing, strategic planning, and other advice that has played a significant role in DEI’s success.”
Dr. Brian Beal

Director of Research, Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research & Education

“As one of the cornerstones of economic development opportunity for Washington County, the Port of Eastport has the pleasure of working very closely with the Sunrise County Economic Council.  We see their ongoing support of Port endeavors as a key component to growing not only the Port of Eastport, but all of Washington future and my children’s.”

Christopher M. Gardner

Executive Director, Eastport Port Authority

Join us and many other community partners in working to energize Washington County.

SCEC is a 501 (c) 3 private, non-profit organization

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