A development corporation based in Aroostook County will receive $1.6 million in federal funds to help with the construction of a manufacturing and food processing plant in Houlton.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said in a news release Wednesday that the new facility will bring 17 new jobs.

The funds from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will be awarded to the Southern Aroostook Development Corp., the senators said.

The project includes construction of a 12,000-square-foot facility in the Houlton Industrial Park to produce food for laboratory animals.

The plant will manufacture four million pounds of laboratory research food annually for large research labs in Maine, including Jackson Lab in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor, as well as California.

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