Home to Fort Campbell, the nation’s third largest military installation, and a desirable mix of private-sector employment, the Clarksville-Montgomery County region has remained a magnet for population and employment growth, even during the national economic downturn. Maintaining the region’s quality of place and the employment opportunities that attracted this growth will be paramount to the area’s future vitality. Continuing to maximize the asset represented by Fort Campbell—both in terms of the economic engine it provides and the associated labor pool—will also be an essential component of the region’s success.
TIP Strategies was contracted by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council (CMCEDC) to update a labor market assessment completed in 2007. In addition to profiling the regional labor force and determining the extent to which the available workforce aligns with employer needs, understanding the influence of Fort Campbell on the regional workforce was a major area of emphasis. As part of the project, TIP worked with Fort Campbell to update the Veteran’s Inventory. The inventory provides a mechanism for capturing critical information about Soldiers separating from service that can be used to recruit companies and provide valuable feedback on issues related to quality of place. The assessment also included an analysis of the potential workforce impacts of new plant locations within the CMCEDC’s target industries: automotive, logistics and distribution, alternative energy technologies, and back office operations. Taking a more comprehensive approach to talent management was a primary recommendation of the study, including formalizing the Veterans’ Inventory, working closely with Fort Campbell personnel to help ensure a smooth transition for those separating from service, and maximizing the region’s strong network of higher education offerings.