Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Invisible Man Wears Camo

Lakewood today began a regional coordinated response to the growth occurring - and more ahead - at Fort Lewis.

About 30 agencies and 84 registered attendees spent this morning understanding the issues of education, transportation, housing, utilities & emergency services and quality of life/support network along with consideration of economic opportunities and workforce development. The session was facilitated by Erika Schmidt, Pres., Frause.

Thanks: Ft. Lewis

Issue synopses were presented by:

  • Tom Knight, Deputy Garrison Commander, Ft. Lewis

  • Gaylord Higa, Deputy Base Civil Engineer, 62nd AW, McChord AFB

  • Amanda Fagan, Project Manager, Office of Economic Adjustment/DoD

  • James A. Noone, Clark & Weinstock
Fort Lewis has been an exceptional story in the region's economy. But that growth has been invisible to most. To some extent, its growth has been hidden by deployments and to some extent its growth has been hidden in this large metropolitan area. But grow Ft. Lewis has to a giant economic force!

Local governments are awakening to that invisible force, recognizing that it has needs and impacts just as any other major employer does. The purpose of today's event was to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing those needs for the benefits of soldiers, their families and all their friends and neighbors around the installation.

Today's activity was a follow-up and expansion of an OEA-approved grant to Lakewood focused on the Lakewood-Ft. Lewis segment of Interstate 5. After the many agencies representatives spent brainstorming time on the issue categories, and a report-back session, forum organizers promised a compilation and opportunity to contribute further. A next session is planned for September.

No comments: