Fort Campbell Region (KY/TN) – Fort Campbell Strong Economic Growth Plan
The inactivation of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade coupled with additional reductions in Army personnel dropped the active duty population at Fort Campbell to 26,500 in FY2015, down from a high of 31,092 just two years earlier. These personnel actions had a significant impact on the regional economy (defined as Christian, Todd, and Trigg counties in Kentucky and Montgomery, Robertson, and Stewart counties in Tennessee). When multipliers such as dependents and ancillary military support services are considered, the reduction in force was estimated to have resulted in the loss of nearly 1,100 additional civilian and contractor jobs.
To mitigate the impact of these losses, TIP Strategies was engaged by the Pennyrile Area Development District under a grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to help prepare the Fort Campbell Strong Economic Growth Plan. In addition to compiling an economic and demographic profile of the six-county region, the consulting team conducted an analysis of the Post’s economic impact and reviewed the skills and capabilities of active duty personnel stationed at Fort Campbell and those who recently separated from service. Findings from this work, and from discussions with a broad cross section of stakeholders in the bi-state region, were used to prepare the plan, including the identification of target industries that offered the best prospects for cluster development. The plan proposed two key initiatives designed to promote economic diversification and greater regional cooperation between agencies and organizations in Tennessee and Kentucky: establishing Fort Campbell Strong as a regional defense alliance and expanding advanced manufacturing education and training in the region. Following publication of the plan in December 2016, regional partners were successful in securing additional OEA funding to support the launch and operations of these two initiatives for a two-year period.