DOD Office Helps Military Communities Adapt to Change

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Since 1961, the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment has helped local communities across the U.S. adapt to DOD program changes, expansions and cutbacks, as well as incompatibilities between military operations and local development.

Many communities across the country have close ties with defense and military programs. Some communities are home to military bases or installations, while others have private sector manufacturers supplying defense contractors. Regardless of the relationship, when a defense program change occurs, it can have a major impact on the local and regional communities.

OEA hosted an “Industry Resilience” series of panel discussions with representatives from state and local governments, industry and academia from around the U.S., in Arlington, Va.

Impacts on Communities

Communities around military bases rely on the base to underpin economic development. A base closure poses significant challenges to those communities.

A reduction or increase in forces can impact everything from traffic patterns to school enrollment and business stability.

Once a military base closes, a large amount of land may remain unused.

Sometimes the defense mission changes — this can cause serious impacts throughout the region as communities address the new mission.

When budgets are cut and contracts end, unemployment and displacement become a concern in the private sector.

How OEA Helps Communities

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OEA works closely with state and community leaders to identify and provide connections to federal resources.
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OEA works with state and local governments to provide resources to distressed communities.
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OEA connects communities to a number of associations, think tanks, and advocacy organizations that can provide assistance.

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