ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The U.S. Commerce for Economic Development announced a multimillion-dollar investment for Maine’s economy on Friday.

Matt Erskine, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, joined state and local officials at the University of Maine to announce grants that would help rural communities affected by mill closures.

The EDA gave the state of Maine a $4.2 million grant. Along with other local and state businesses, the state of Maine received a total of $7.7 million in grant money on Friday. The money will go to creating jobs and investing in Maine's community colleges as a means to meet business demands.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin said it is critically important that the federal government steps in and works with the local government to help boost Maine's economy.

Erskine also announced that a special team will travel to Maine to help address the state’s forest-based economic challenges from Aug. 17 to 19.

Maine’s congressional delegation, local leaders, and federal partners will work together to foster innovation and commercialization for the future of Maine’s forest-based economy.

Since 2010, the EDA has awarded $30 million in economic development grants to the state of Maine.