BANGOR, Maine — Eastern Maine Development Corp., which for more than 40 years has provided business and community development assistance and resources to six counties, has eliminated seven staff positions, EMDC President and CEO Michael Aube made the announcement Thursday, citing the expiration of a handful of contracts and permanent reduction in programmatic resources from state and federal agencies. The restructuring effort also has been approved by EMDC’s board of directors.

“This was obviously a difficult decision,” he said. “These changes were not a reflection of the employees’ performance or the value of their contribution to the organization. EMDC operates based on contracted services, grant-funded projects and governmental funding. Many of these sources have a finite end date by nature and others are subject to decisions that are out of our control.”

EMDC employs approximately 65 people and is headquartered in Bangor inside the old Norumbega Hall building. It serves Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, Washington, Waldo and Knox counties in areas such as project financing, marketing, manufacturing, government contracting and downtown development.

This is the first time EMDC has been forced to eliminate positions during the current economic downturn and Aube said he does not anticipate future staff reductions.

Last year, EMDC received a grant of $2.1 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to establish a green construction skills training program.