DoD issues grant to ease spending cuts

Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) recently announced that the Department of Defense has issued a $837,316 grant through its Office of Economic Adjustment to the East Central Regional Planning Commission due to contract reductions in central Wisconsin.

“This is great news for our entire region,” Petri said. “With this grant, our area will be better suited to diversify and streamline economic opportunities for the future.”

The OEA issues grants through the defense industry adjustment program to help states that have been impacted by reductions in DoD spending. The federal funds will be paired with matching local funds to bolster and diversify economic development in the region.

“This grant provides an excellent vehicle to bring together the various economic development entities throughout the three Fox Valley metropolitan areas, and the Waupaca County environs, to focus on the future growth of advanced manufacturing within the region while also creating an overall ‘economic ecosystem’ that responds better to our unique challenges and opportunities,” East Central Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Eric Fowle said.

The grant is intended to help communities organize a response to less DoD spending and to ease the economic impact by providing economic adjustment initiatives to workers, businesses and local communities.

“Strategic regional initiatives will leverage cutting edge skills and technology to attract new investments, helping to preserve industrial base capacity even as Defense spending declines,” the OEA said. “Proposals are considered for funding on a rolling basis, subject to the availability of appropriations.”