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Defense Industry Issues

How the Office of Economic Adjustment Works

The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) is responsible for managing and directing efforts to assist communities impacted by Defense program changes, including base closures, base expansions, and contract or program cancellations, and for coordinating involvement of other federal agencies in the process. (Source: AllGov)

OEA provides several resources for communities impacted by Defense changes. See:
  • Federal Assistance - How OEA can help: Resources for Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC), Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA)
  • External Support Programs - In addition to OEA and the federal government, there are a number of associations, think tanks, and advocacy organizations that can assist communities; OEA lists these support program options.
  • Grants - State and local governments are eligible for OEA grant assistance as they seek to organize and plan economic recovery in response to the closure/realignment of military installations or cancellation or termination of a Defense contract, as well as to plan compatible land use near installations where civilian encroachment may impair the ongoing missions of an active duty installation.
  • OEA Resource Library - Resources for communities undergoing Defense Industry Adjustment

Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Defined

From DIA Quick Start: Unlike base closures where specific property can be reused to develop and generate new businesses and jobs, OEA's support for communities impacted by factory closures and laid off employees focuses on developing adjustment and implementation strategies.

These adjustment strategies often focus on regional job creation through business development, attraction and expansion, workforce development, and community economic diversification. Additionally, during the planning process, OEA also coordinates with and provides information on other relevant federal assistance programs that can support coordinated economic development efforts.

During implementation of the adjustment plan, OEA works with other federal, state, and local resources to coordinate the response in accordance with an approved strategy. Community response actions may include any or all of the following:
  • Assistance for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Business financing programs
  • Procurement assistance centers
  • Development and support of industry clusters
  • Manufacturing extension partnerships
  • Export assistance
  • Workforce assistance programs
  • Business incubators
  • Comprehensive strategies for integrating these actions

Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Case Studies & Success Stories

Defense Industry Adjustment (DIA) Resources

  • Local Officials Guide to Economic Adjustment - In November 2013, OEA released these publications for local leaders interested in planning for or responding to Defense cutbacks. ​​​​While directed to Defense dependent communities, the themes of the guides are broadly applicable. There are 3 shorter guides that provide an overview of the organizing and planning process, approaches to assisting small and medium-size firms, and strategies for coordinating worker transitions. The larger guide ("Local Official’s Guide to Defense Industry Adjustment") covers these themes in greater depth. All emphasize the importance of local leadership and starting early.

Additional Information

  • Common Threads: Community Leaders Talk about Defense Industry Adjustment - Short YouTube video from the OEA shows how community leaders impacted by factory closures and laid off employees focused on developing adjustment and implementation strategies to reinvent their communities.
  • Defense Industry Adjustment Highlight Reel - YouTube videos from OEA with case studies and examples
  • Local Chambers and the Military - Chambers in Action post from Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy; summarizes a program from the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce about the close ties between energy innovation, local economic development and national security. Key finding: Local chambers with military bases in their communities have an important role to play in the clean energy discussions happening at the local, state and national levels. The Greater Raleigh chamber also organized a roundtable with neighboring chambers discussing how the Department of Defense’s increased demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency for military bases presents new opportunities for businesses in North Carolina and nationwide.

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Last updated: 1/12/2015

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