Home » Commission on Military Affairs awarded grant to study defense-related economic development

Commission on Military Affairs awarded grant to study defense-related economic development

Awarded by Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 21, 2015) — Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has awarded a $618,437 grant to the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs to study defense-related economic development opportunities in the state.

“Our Commission on Military Affairs, through its ongoing efforts and with the help of this grant, is working to make the most of Kentucky’s defense-related economic opportunities, as well as set conditions for economic growth near Kentucky military installations,” Beshear said. “I’m pleased to announce this grant because of its potential to help us grow in some of the most cutting-edge technologies.”

The grant will be used to conduct planning and take action to adjust to recent Army force structure reductions in Kentucky. OEA is the Department of Defense’s field organization responsible for supporting state and local governments to respond to major defense program changes.

The scope of the grant includes studying the aerospace and defense-related supply chain in Kentucky to determine annual economic impact, growth areas and workforce implications and develop recommendations for sustained growth.

An online, interactive, data-driven mapping tool will enable Kentucky companies to understand and participate in the aerospace and defense industry and provide leaders and policymakers with an effective, updated information source to drive increased employment in this sector of the economy. In addition, the grant will be used to study the developing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) industry and the cybersecurity industry, as well as update a standing study on the overall economic importance of the military in Kentucky.

Last year Kentucky shipped out $7.8 billion in aerospace parts and products, a 38 percent increase from 2013, according to the Cabinet for Economic Development.

“Taking a good look at aerospace, aviation and defense allows Kentucky to be proactive in developing these areas of our economy,” said retired Col. David Thompson, executive director of KCMA. “In addition, it is important to remain abreast of the total economic impact of military-related activity in our state, especially with regard to the Army installations here. We thank the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment for facilitating our efforts to adapt to military force structure changes and promote investment in defense-related technologies.”