Unlike base closures where specific property can be reused to develop and generate new businesses and jobs, OEA's support for communities impacted by factory closures and laid off employees focuses on developing adjustment and implementation strategies.
These adjustment strategies often focus on regional job creation through business development, attraction and expansion, workforce development, and community economic diversification. Additionally, during the planning process, OEA also coordinates with and provides information on other relevant federal assistance programs that can support coordinated economic development efforts.
During implementation of the adjustment plan, OEA works with other federal, state, and local resources to coordinate the response in accordance with an approved strategy. Community response actions may include any or all of the following:
- Assistance for small and medium-sized businesses
- Business financing programs
- Procurement assistance centers
- Development and support of industry clusters
- Manufacturing extension partnerships
- Export assistance
- Workforce assistance programs
- Business incubators
- Comprehensive strategies for integrating these actions
Advance notification, severance packages, and extended benefit programs offered by employers have benefited communities as they develop effective strategies to adjust to these program cuts and layoffs; however, the challenge with defense industry adjustment (DIA) projects is that advance notice in many cases is limited.
Between 1988 and 1996, when defense procurement was cut nearly in half, OEA worked with all 50 states and local communities. Today, OEA is ready to support communities impacted by proposed cuts to a variety of weapons. States and communities can request OEA assistance to: organize representatives to respond on behalf of affected communities, workers, and businesses; plan local community and economic adjustment activities to lessen local economic impacts; and, carry-out plans to replace lost economic activity. Details on how to apply can be found in the May 20, 2014, Federal Register Notice.
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