Department of Defense grant to assist in Economic Planning Efforts

Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas, with the support of several regional organizations, has been awarded a $454,772 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) Defense Industry Adjustment Grant. Additionally, $50,530 of local non-federal match funds were contributed by a number of key partners. Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas is a Non-Profit Organization, linking employers and workers to workforce development services throughout the region. The service area includes nine counties in Northeast Texas: Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River, and Titus.

A requirement of the OEA Grant is a 10% non-federal match for any grant funds awarded. Several local partners contributed to these efforts, including: the City of Texarkana, TX; the City of Texarkana, AR; Texarkana Chamber of Commerce; Atlanta, TX Economic Development Corporation; Cass County; Nash, TX Industrial Development Corporation; DeKalb, TX Industrial Development Corporation; and Clarksville, TX Economic Development Corporation. These partners made a significant commitment, allowing Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas to qualify for this grant opportunity and secure the additional funding.

This award is a follow-up to the first OEA grant, received in December 2014. The scope of the current grant from OEA addresses many of the recommendations developed during the first grant. Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas applied for the first grant, in support of the workforce at the Red River Army Depot (RRAD). These efforts will continue to support RRAD while working to further develop the regional economy.

The funds will be used in a 15 month economic adjustment project for the region. The project has a number of goals, outlined here:
Goal 1: Strengthen support for economic development efforts
Goal 2: Diversify the regional economy through both business expansion and attraction
Goal 3: Explore the possibility of a regionally focused Economic Development group

The grant funds will be used to complete a stakeholder network and communication plan. The communication plan will provide updates on grant activities and events. Additional pieces of the plan include a Target Industry Analysis and Workforce Needs Analysis. These regional studies will highlight economic assets and resources, strengthening economic development efforts in business expansion and attraction.

Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas is partnering with the TexAmericas Center to accomplish this initiative. TexAmericas, a state of Texas redevelopment authority, will act as the Local Project Coordinator and Convener, and will be responsible for subcontracting for certain plans and studies necessary to accomplish the goals of the project. TexAmericas brings robust economic development knowledge and experience to this job creation and resource alignment effort.

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