Pennyrile Area Development District
A Regional Planning & Development Agency
Pennyrile Area Development District Receives Funding from the U.S. Department of Defense
Posted on August 7th, 2017

​The Pennyrile Area Development District has been awarded a $1,699,067 grant ($2.2 M total project) from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), the Department of Defense’s field organization responsible for supporting state and local governments to respond to major defense program changes.  The community adjustment assistance grant has been given in response to previously announced force reduction and aviation restructuring at Fort Campbell.   “It’s great news that the Office of Economic Adjustment has awarded this two-year, $2.2 million grant to the Fort Campbell Strong effort,” Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said. “Fort Campbell Strong is a game-changing alliance -- strongly backed by the City of Clarksville  --  that links multiple cities, six counties and two states around some extremely important goals.  This grant will help solidify Fort Campbell Strong as a unified regional voice of support for Fort Campbell and its families and as an ongoing force for economic diversification and growth in our region.”  Pennyrile Area Development District Executive Director, Jason Vincent says, “Regional partnerships, collaborating agencies, and the continuing supportive efforts of Senators McConnell (KY), Paul (KY), Alexander (TN), and Corker (TN) along with Representatives Comer (KY) and Blackburn (TN), helped make awarding of the grant possible.”
 
The Ft. Campbell Strong initiative is a collaborative effort that began in 2015 to define a path for economic diversification and growith in the six-county region surrounding Ft. Campbell including Christian, Todd, and Trigg counties in Kentucky along with Montgomery, Stewart, and Robertson counties in Tennessee.  Robertson County Mayor, Howard Bradley states “Robertson County is excited to be part of this initiative which will strengthen the ties between Ft. Campbell and the entire region.  Our communities will be immeasureably enhanced for decades to come because of this undertaking.  We look forward to keeping more former service members here to strengthen our region’s economic development.”
 
Funding from OEA will allow for the implementation of two strategies identified in the Ft. Campbell Strong Regional Economic Diversification and Growth Plan, which serves as the planning and implementation guide to address issues specific to changes at Fort Campbell and the region.  The first strategy involves the collaboration and alignment of curriculum at the Hopkinsville Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and Austin Peay State University, in addition to the purchase of training equipment that will enhance and expand Advanced Manufacturing education in the region.  “We are excited to be one of the partners in this funding opportunity.  This collaborative effort strengthens the educational partnership between Hopkinsville Community College and its partners in Tennessee and provides greater opportunities for our students.  Our students will be trained using state-of-the-art equipment to simulate real life scenarios in local industries.  After students complete the KYFAME or the Advanced Manufacturing Program at Hopkinsville Community College, they can move immediately into the workplace or seamlessly transition to Austin Peay State University.  Participating in the Campbell Strong Initiative helps us to truly fulfill the mission of Hopkinsville Community College,” commented HCC Interim President Dr. Dennis Michaelis.  The ultimate goal is to cultivate the talent pipeline of those coming out of Ft. Campbell in an effort to retain them in the local workforce.  APSU Dean of College of Science and Mathematics, Dr. Jaime Taylor says, “The OEA grant funds will allow Austin Peay State University to increase the number of students we serve in our Mechatronics program and vastly improve the quality of the students’ hands on experience.”
 
The second strategy involves the formation of a regional defense alliance to provide a dedicated, unified voice on matters involving Ft. Campbell and the surrounding region.  Hopkinsville Mayor, Carter Hendricks states, “Hopkinsville is excited to work with our regional partners to support Ft. Campbell Strong as we strive to support our soldiers and their families, and to maximize the future of Ft. Campbell.  Thanks to our Congressional delegation for their support and to the Office of Economic Adjustment for their confidence in granting us these additional dollars to establish the Ft. Campbell Strong Defense Alliance.  We are stronger when we work together.”
 
“Phase two of this OEA grant providing Workforce Development opportunities and Defense Alliance funding is the product of a great collaborative effort from both Tennessee and Kentucky leadership.  The relationships between our communities have never been stronger and this is one of hopefully many partnerships we will see in our future that will strengthen our position as the premier Army community within the DOD and a message sent loud and clear throughout Washington D.C.  As our heroes continue to fight for our freedom abroad, we want them to know that our local leaders continue to fight for our communities and their loved ones back home”, commented Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett.  Echoing those comments, Christian County Judge Executive Steve Tribble says, “The bi-state collaboration exemplified with this initiative is a testament to the region’s support of our military men, women and families at Ft. Campbell.  Christian County is proud to take part in a partnership that extends beyond city, county, and state lines in an effort to move the entire region forward.”


Posted in Pennyrile Area Development District    Tagged with Office of Economic Adjustment, Department of Defense, Fort Campbell Strong