LEWISTON — In 2011, while working as a town planner in Wiscasset, Misty Parker organized a conference in the Bates Mill complex for the Maine Association of Planners.

“That experience really stuck in my head because everyone was just so welcoming, so excited about the work that was happening in their city and just met us outsiders with open arms,” said Parker, 33. “It really left an impression on me that it was just a place that people really loved.”

Three years later, she got a job here.

Parker, from Massachusetts, first came to Maine to major in environmental studies at the University of Maine at Machias.

“I loved that it was a small school and it was really focused on their students,” said Parker.

After graduate school, she worked for an environmental nonprofit and then for several municipalities before seeing the opening at Lewiston City Hall for an economic development specialist.


“I was debating what job direction I wanted to go with my career,” she said. A former boss “had worked in Auburn and she had awesome things to say about the Lewiston-Auburn area, and especially the economic development office in Lewiston and the work of Lincoln Jeffers.”

She’s been here since 2014, commuting from Dresden, where she has a garden and exploring beekeeping with two hives.

Parker was part of the hot dog crosswalk project near Simones’ Hot Dog Stand and said it exemplifies why she loves the job.

“When people come to me, whether they’re a local artist or small business, they have these big ideas and they want to figure out how to navigate the approval process in the city to do whatever it is they have in mind,” Parker said. Part of her role is to help.

More recently, she’s been involved in a collaboration working with a $150,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation. The pilot project targets low-income residents and the unemployed, veterans and immigrant youth giving them 12 weeks of construction workforce training — eight weeks of that is hands-on, paid training with local companies looking to hire.

The first five people graduated a few weeks ago. All five had job offers.

“We’re excited to continue building this program and seeing where it can go,” Parker said. “It’s been such a good experience working here. Everyone’s ability to come together and try new ideas is very encouraging.”


“Everyone’s ability to come together and try new ideas is very encouraging.”

40 Under 40’s Misty Parker with her husband, Brendan, on their honeymoon in Ireland.

40 Under 40’s Misty Parker, center, with friends.

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