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External Support Programs

In addition to OEA and the federal government, there are a number of associations, think tanks, and advocacy organizations that can assist communities. Below are organizations with whom OEA has worked previously and that are good resources for communities to consider.

American Planning Association

The American Planning Association

The American Planning Association (APA) is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in community planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change.

Association of Defense Communities (formerly known as the National Association of Installation Developers)

Association of Defense Communities

The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) is the voice for communities and states with a significant military presence. ADC unites the diverse interests of communities, state governments, the private sector, and the military on issues of base closure and realignment, community military partnerships, defense real estate, mission growth, mission sustainment, military privatization, and base redevelopment.

International City/County Management Association

International City/County Management Association

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) creates excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional local government management worldwide. The organization provides technical and management assistance, training, and information resources in the areas of performance measurement, ethics education and training, community and economic development, environmental management, technology, and other topics to its members and the broader local government community.

National Governors Association

National Governors Association

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories, and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.

National Association of Counties

National Association of Counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,066 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.

National League of Cities

National League of Cities

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal governments throughout the United States. Its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance.

Working in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages, and towns it represents. More than 1,600 municipalities of all sizes pay dues to NLC and actively participate as leaders and voting members in the organization.

Northeast-Midwest Institute

Northeast-Midwest Institute

The Northeast-Midwest Institute is a Washington-based, private, non-profit, and non-partisan research organization dedicated to economic vitality, environmental quality, and regional equity for Northeast and Midwest states. Formed in the mid-1970s, it fulfills its mission by conducting research and analysis, developing and advancing innovative policy, providing evaluation of key federal programs, disseminating information, and highlighting sound economic and environmental technologies and practices.

U.S. Conference of Mayors

U.S. Conference of Mayors

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,201 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the U.S. Conference of Mayors are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information.

How OEA Can Help

OEA provides the resources to help communities help themselves respond to:

OEA equips communities with information, procedures, technical, and financial assistance needed.
Learn More about BRAC

OEA works with communities to minimize the consequences of defense impacts.
Learn More about DIA

OEA’s Compatible Use Program promotes cooperative planning efforts among military installations, ranges and military training corridors and surrounding communities.
Learn More about Compatible Use

OEA provides growth management planning assistance to State and local governments.
Learn More about Mission Growth

Economic Adjustment Committee (EAC)

Through its involvement in the Economic Adjustment Committee (EAC), OEA also serves as a focal point for transition assistance from other relevant federal programs. The EAC is composed of 22 federal departments and agencies that work together to coordinate and leverage technical and financial assistance to help communities, businesses, and/or workers respond to DoD-driven impacts. This allows communities access to a full complement of federal government resources.

In addition to coordinating federal resources to local communities, OEA also works directly with states through its State Planning Assistance program to enhance state capacity to assist communities, businesses, and workers adversely affected by Defense program changes.

Keys to Success

Regardless of what initiated OEA support (BRAC, growth, Defense Industry Adjustment, compatible use), OEA staff, through years of working with communities, have identified the following keys to success:

Proper Organization

A single representative organization is paramount. Bring the stakeholders together throughout the process, from the conceptual visioning stage through short- and long-term planning, job creation, and economic stabilization.

Diverse & Committed Leadership

Public and private sector leaders must work together to provide continuing priority support to adjustment efforts.

Comprehensive Strategy

These situations enable a community to make significant changes. This challenge requires a strategy that broadly addresses change and encompasses community needs.


Stakeholder acceptance of plans helps avoid the contentious issues that may delay action.


Follow through on the recommendations developed by community leaders after consensus is reached.

Realistic Marketing

Every community has opportunities. The trick is to use sound business analysis to find those that have the most potential.


Positive change cannot occur overnight. Regardless of the type of community transformation, it can take years to fully realize plans.

Government Support

Leverage the guidance, technical assistance, and financial resources available through OEA and all levels of government to help plan and implement strategies.