Many communities depend on military bases to support the local economy. Aside from the military personnel whose hard earned dollars inevitably make their way into local business coffers, these bases hire thousands of non-military support staff. So when a base is closed or relocates, these communities can be very hard hit. Even in the best of economic times, the loss of such a significant contributor to a local economy can be devastating. And these are not the best of economic times.
The U.S. Department of Labor, as part of its National Emergency Grant program, is trying to help civilian who’ve lost their jobs due to military base closings or relocations. Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced a $7,666,392 National Emergency Grant to assist about 6,530 U.S. Department of Defense civilian workers, contractors and military spouses impacted by the realignments and closures of military facilities in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
This group includes workers impacted by the closing of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and relocation of the Naval Criminal Investigative Services from the district, as well as those who may be affected by the expansion of activities at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Detrick, Fort Meade and the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland.
“When a military facility closes or relocates it impacts both military families and local civilians,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “Today’s grant will help prepare affected workers for jobs in growing industries, especially the jobs that will be created by the expansion of military facilities in nearby areas.”