Bangor chamber of commerce to host transportation head

Posted June 16, 2010, at 8:49 p.m.

BANGOR — Maine’s top transportation official will be the featured speaker at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce Early Bird Breakfast on Wednesday, June 23.

Department of Transportation Commissioner David Cole, who has held that post since 2003, will discuss changes in global trade and shipping patterns, and how Maine and the Bangor region in particular can take advantage of these trends.

Cole will focus on opportunities for the Bangor region during the global recovery, particularly those opportunities that can be seized with strategic investments in ports, rail, highways and state-of-the-art border facilities. He also will talk about the opportunity for an international container port facility in Searsport.

“Developing an international container port facility in Searsport, along with other strategic investments in our rail, highway and border facilities, will position Maine and the Bangor region to take advantage of shifting trade patterns and shipping routes,” Cole said in a statement provided by the Bangor Chamber. “We are also much closer to where the action is, and is going to be, than people realize.”

Cole oversees a department of 2,400 employees and a biennial budget of more than $1 billion. His department is responsible for planning, building and maintaining Maine’s transportation system, including highways, bridges, mass transit, railroads, ferries, and bicycle and pedestrian trails.

Before his appointment as commissioner, Cole served eight years as president and chief executive officer of the Eastern Maine Development Corp., a nonprofit economic development organization headquartered in Bangor.

Next Wednesday’s Early Bird Breakfast will begin at 7 a.m. at the Sea Dog Restaurant in Bangor. Cole is scheduled to speak at 8 a.m. Admission is $15 for Chamber members and $20 for nonmembers.

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