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Posts Tagged ‘economic development’

Massachusetts Agency Launches Economic Diversification Study

  • June 29, 2015
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The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) has launched an economic diversification study to help the state cope with cutbacks in DOD spending by becoming less dependent on defense contracting. The organization recently was awarded a $400,000 grant from MassDevelopment, a state agency that received a $1.5 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment. MassMEP will help companies reposition toward commercial markets, Jack Healy, its president, told the Telegram. A large number of manufacturers providing critical systems to the defense industry will have a difficulty surviving when their customers diminish. The grant also will expand an initiative allowing undergraduates from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to teach a training curriculum to the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Of the about 87,000 jobs in the state supported by the defense industry, 43,000 are direct jobs, Healy said. The 87,000 positions do not include research and development or Small Business Innovation Research grant jobs. The study is expected to be completed in March 2016.

Amid Diversification, Goodyear Continues to Leverage Presence of Luke AFB

  • June 18, 2015
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The city of Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix located close by Luke Air Force Base, is trying to recruit a mix of civilian and defense companies to take over a 500,000-square-foot aerospace campus no longer used by Lockheed Martin. Goodyear had enjoyed an extended run as an aerospace hub since World War II, when it began to build military aircraft, before shifting to dirigibles and surveillance systems. That activity started to wind down in 2009, and when sequestration hit in 2013 Lockheed cut its workforce from 600 to 50, reported National Defense. “We would like to recruit more aviation, aerospace and cyber security companies,” said Harry Paxton, Goodyear’s economic development project manager …

Texas Communities to Pursue Higher Level of Funding to Support Installations

  • June 10, 2015
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After securing $30 million in defense economic adjustment assistance in Texas’ budget for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium to help support local installations, defense communities in the state are going to continue their campaign for $150 million to fend off a looming BRAC round. The lobbyist for Texas Mayors of Military Communities intends to meet with lawmakers from districts without bases to explain the significance of the state’s military presence, reports the El Paso Times. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had initially proposed allocating $30 million to the Texas Military Preparedness Commission in the new budget, but lawmakers almost ignored the request …

Arkansas Legislature Endorses Incentive Package for Lockheed Martin

  • May 28, 2015
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Arkansas lawmakers on Wednesday approved an $87 million bond issue to allow Lockheed Martin to build joint light tactical vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps at its facility in Camden. The Maryland-based defense contractor would only receive the incentive package if it wins a DOD contract, which is expected to be awarded this summer. The company is competing against Indiana-based AM General and Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense. The joint light tactical vehicle would replace the Humvee made by AM General. With the incentive package, Lockheed has said it would create 589 jobs and retain 556 at its plant in southern Arkansas …

Texas Legislature Expected to Provide $30M for Installations

  • May 21, 2015
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Texas lawmakers are expected to include $30 million in the state’s next two-year budget to support military installations, reports the El Paso Times. The state’s compromise budget for the fiscal 2016-2017 biennium now includes $30 million for defense economic adjustment assistance grants to help communities support local installations, but the plan still needs to be adopted by a House-Senate conference committee, Reps. Marisa Márquez (D) and Joe Pickett (D) told the paper. The move comes as the prospect of a new BRAC round looms. The budget request submitted by DOD in February requested permission to hold a BRAC in 2017, the fourth straight year the Obama administration has asked for approval for additional base closures …

Community Attempts to Raise Profile of Ohio Manufacturing Facility

  • May 19, 2015
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After the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in northwestern Ohio was ignored in a report from a state commission outlining ways to boost federal and military jobs in Ohio, officials in Lima are looking at ways to get the attention of state leaders. The strategic plan released in April by the Ohio Federal and Military Jobs Commission primarily focused on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other installations in the state, reported limaohio.com. “The JSMC didn’t figure prominently into that,” Lima Mayor David Berger said at a meeting Monday of Task Force LIMA, the local support organization for the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, a government-owned, contractor-operated tank and military vehicle production facility. It’s not clear how the group should connect with state leaders, he said. “How we got ignored in this initial report is not very explainable at this point. We just have to continue to pursue this relationship,” Berger said.

Paper Questions Lack of Job Growth at Federal City Project

  • May 17, 2015
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At the 10-year anniversary of the 2005 round of base closures, the Times-Picayune takes the opportunity to chronicle the history of the Federal City project, the redevelopment of the Naval Support Activity New Orleans, and question why it hasn’t achieved its goal of creating 10,000 jobs. The project was born out of the 2005 BRAC round when officials from New Orleans and Louisiana successfully lobbied the BRAC Commission to keep open the Naval Support Activity’s Algiers campus — located on the west bank of the Mississippi River — and move the headquarters for Marine Forces Reserve there from the Navy’s Bywater campus across the river. The state pledged $125 million to build a new facility for the Marines …

Marketing Blitz to Promote MacDill AFB

  • May 4, 2015
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The Tampa Bay Defense Alliance is rolling out a campaign to promote MacDill Air Force Base at a time when DOD is facing budget constraints and pursues a new round of base closures. The initiative is intended to raise awareness of the installation among area residents and businesses, as well as in Washington. A central theme of the effort is showcasing the robust partnership between the community and MacDill, reported the Tampa Tribune. The initiative is centered on the “My MacDill” website, which provides residents and local organizations an opportunity to post photos, videos and personal memories about the base and its contributions to the Tampa region and the nation …

New Effort Advances to Ease HUBZone Requirements at BRAC Sites

  • May 3, 2015
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The House Armed Services Committee last week added language to the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill that would make it easier for tenants located at closed installations to qualify for the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program, the first step in the most recent effort by Maine’s congressional delegation to support the reuse project at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin sponsored the amendment which would allow a business to qualify for the HUBZone program — an initiative offering preferential access to federal procurements to businesses in distressed areas — if 35 percent of its employees live within a 25-mile radius of the closed installation. BRAC installations currently are designated as HUBZones for five years after they are formally closed. For a particular business to qualify for the program, however, 35 percent of its employees must live on the closed base, a threshold that is virtually unattainable …

San Antonio Fosters Cybersecurity Cluster

  • April 29, 2015
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San Antonio is cultivating the largest military and civilian federal cybersecurity hub outside the Washington metro region, marked by growth in the number of companies serving the market and highly-rated university programs, according to the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. The military components of the city’s cybersecurity cluster are anchored by the 24th and 25th Air Force at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, and the National Security Agency Texas. The 24th Air Force safeguards key components of DOD’s information networks and employs more than 1,300 people. U.S. Cyber Command officials last year said up to 1,000 additional personnel will be coming to San Antonio in the next three years to support the department’s cybersecurity mission. “The strength of San Antonio’s cybersecurity industry is evident in the community’s commitment to grow and foster a sector for which it is ideally suited,” said John Dickson, principal at the San Antonio-based Denim Group …

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