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Fort Knox

Background

Fort Knox is adjacent to the City of Radcliff, Kentucky and approximately 15 miles north of the City of Elizabethtown. The base, which covers approximately 170 square miles across three counties, is a major source of employment in the region. A Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) 2005 decision resulted in a number of realignment actions at Fort Knox to include: the consolidation of human resource functions and creation of the Army Human Resource Center of Excellence; the relocation of the Armor Center and School to Fort Benning, Georgia; the activation of an Infantry Brigade Combat Team; the relocation of engineer, military police, and combat service units from Europe and Korea to Fort Knox; and the relocation of the 84th Army Reserve Regional Training Center to Fort Knox. These actions have resulted in a net gain of 4,600 military and civilian personnel.

Community Response

The regional workforce study projected that as many as 1,400, or perhaps more, job openings will need to be filled with the relocation of the U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC) and the Human Resources Command (HRC) to Fort Knox. As the transformation continues it appears quite likely that this projection was an accurate one, with the major critical shortfalls expected primarily in the Information Technology fields. It is expected that a majority of the highly-skilled human resource positions will be filled at the mid- and higher-levels from within the system, and from dedicated worldwide recruiting efforts.

In 2006, community leaders from the nine surrounding counties created "One Knox", which operates as a unit of the Lincoln Trail Area Development District. The mission of One Knox is to serve as a central coordinating community agency to facilitate growth planning efforts. This unit’s activities will seek to effectively take advantage of growth opportunities and to identify solutions that will reduce community impacts resulting from the 2005 BRAC decision. Through technical and financial support from the Office of Economic Adjustment, One Knox has completed a number of community assessments in order to craft an appropriate community plan of action in response to the Department of Defense's actions at Fort Knox. These community assessments will ultimately serve as the basis for a regional economic growth plan, a formal tool for community leaders to address expected population movements and economic growth occurring at the installation. In addition to these planning efforts, the Lincoln Trail Area Development District, in partnership with local government partners, updated the 1994 Joint Land Use Study, which is now used by local planning commissions in the affected counties and by Fort Knox Plans and Programs to review existing and future land use plans in the region.

Through support from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor's BRAC Task Force and the General Assembly, One Knox was successful in advocating for state funding to support transportation and infrastructure improvement projects in the region. This support resulted in the allocation of $251 million in bond funds to be used for transportation and infrastructure development in the impacted region. Key transportation projects underway as a result of these funds include: continued improvements on US 31 West, which is one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the region; and improvements to North Wilson Road, which leads to a heavily used access control point at Fort Knox.

The community also has focused on efforts to prepare the local workforce for job opportunities that may become available as a result of the BRAC decisions. Through a National Emergency Grant from the US Department of Labor, the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board, in collaboration with One Knox, has developed a demand-driven response to the needs of civilian employees affected by the relocation of the Armor Center and School, as well as preparing the local workforce with the skills required for future job opportunities on the installation. Additionally, the Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board collaborated with the Fort Knox Civilian Personnel Assistance Center to sponsor Federal hiring symposiums across the region, which provided instructions and information on the civil service application process to more than 1,500 individuals interested in employment opportunities at the new Human Resource Center of Excellence at Fort Knox.

To view the community's 2009 Mission Growth Profile, click here.

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