OEA continues to assist communities, both large and small, with adapting to Defense program changes. Communities benefit from decades of OEA knowledge and community best practices, allowing them to leverage state and federal resources to proactively and positively change their individual community.
Each project highlight story below showcases a challenge the community is facing and how this community, with OEA support, is working to solve it.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Fort Bragg is home to the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the US Special Operations Command. The installation, which occupies approximately 251 square miles, spans across five counties in the North Carolina Sandhills Region and is located west of the City of Fayetteville. As a result of BRAC 2005 decisions, Fort Bragg is now home to the US Army Forces Command and US Army Reserve Command. BRAC 2005 actions at Fort Bragg include the activation of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, the departure of the 7th Special Forces Group, and the realignment of Pope Air Force Base resulting in the transfer of real property and services to the Army and the renaming of the base to Pope Field. The installation also experienced population growth resulting from the Grow the Army Initiative and Army Modularity. These defense related actions, coupled with BRAC 2005, have resulted in a net gain of approximately 7,500 additional military and civilians jobs to the region.
In response to the potential community impacts resulting from mission growth at Fort Bragg, local community leaders created the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance (formerly the BRAC Regional Task Force). The "Alliance" comprises representatives from 11 counties and 73 municipalities surrounding Fort Bragg. Its mission is to coordinate planning and implementation efforts to ameliorate community growth impacts resulting from military mission expansion. Through technical and financial assistance from the Office of Economic Adjustment, the Alliance carried out a comprehensive assessment of the potential community impacts resulting from the base's mission growth. This assessment became the foundation for the development and adoption of a regional comprehensive growth management plan. The plan identifies critical community impacts in a number of areas to include education, transportation, workforce development, healthcare, and public safety. In addition, the plan outlines critical actions necessary to reduce these impacts.
Through funding from the Defense Access Road (DAR) Program and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the community is taking on a major road construction project that will reduce traffic congestion and support force protection at the installation. The project involves the expansion of Murchison Road from a four-lane to a six-lane road and the construction of two interchanges. Once completed, civilian traffic will be diverted from a major base road, Bragg Boulevard, thus enhancing the force protection requirements of the installation and reducing traffic congestion along this road. Community leaders also have successfully advocated for state funding support to complete the Interstate 295 Fayetteville Outer Loop Project. This loop will provide interstate connectivity from Interstate 95 eight miles north of Fayetteville and the All-American Freeway, which is the largest access control point at Fort Bragg.
In addition, the Alliance has undertaken a number of initiatives to prepare the local workforce for job opportunities resulting from the arrival of US Forces Command and US Army Reserve Command, which may require employees with more technical job skills. Through a workforce demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Alliance created the All-American Center for Workforce Innovation, which focuses on education and workforce development. In addition, the Alliance coordinated the creation of a career exploration and talent acquisition tool, PipelineNC, which includes tools to perform self-assessments, career exploration, connection to training and education resources and job postings and application capabilities.
To view the community's 2009 Mission Growth Profile, click here.