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DED Awards Military Communities Grants to Support Programs

by Erin Younkin | Nov 22, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, the Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded three organizations a total of $167,000 through the Military Community Reinvestment Grant Program.

The Military Community Reinvestment Grant Program is designed to assist communities that support military bases and programs, encouraging coordination with federal defense agencies, developing action plans in advance of anticipated federal government closure decisions, and supporting efforts to attract new or expanded military missions.

“Missouri’s defense industry is a major employer and asset to our communities. The economic impact military installations have is undeniable,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “By promoting the growth of programs to diversify these installations, nondefense jobs also benefit.”

The Military Community Reinvestment Grant Program helps organizations address the needs of military families through housing, childcare, infrastructure, and expansion of Department of Defense missions. Meeting these needs increases the attractiveness of the area to future military investment which brings skilled workers to the area and boosts the economic health of the region.

“The department is proud to help create a higher quality of life for service members and their families by helping community organizations to better support military missions,” Executive Director of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission Joe Driskill said. “Through this program, DED helps strengthen military communities and Missouri’s economy.”

The following organizations have been approved:

Leonard Wood Institute

Leonard Wood Institute will use funds to attract new military and other federal agency missions, organizations, and functions to Fort Leonard Wood as well as defense and nondefense industry investments in the region. These increases would result in new job opportunities for a highly educated and skilled workforce that includes military spouses and transitioning service members, more efficient use of infrastructure, and quality of life improvements in the areas of education, transportation, and health care.

“We very much appreciate our state leaders making this grant program and the appropriations available to defense community support organizations like ours across Missouri. We are confident these resources will help us create opportunities to attract and retain service members and their spouses while growing the economy in the Fort Leonard Wood region,” said Dorsey Newcomb, Executive Director of Leonard Wood Institute/Sustainable Ozarks Partnership. 

Leonard Wood Institute was created in 2003 as a nonprofit organization to collaborate with the Army on federal research activities. In 2014, the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership was established as the regional support entity of Leonard Wood Institute to support and promote Fort Leonard Wood while working to improve the quality of life and access to services for citizens in the region of Laclede, Phelps, Pulaski, and Texas counties.

Click here to read more about Missouri's Military Community Reinvestment Grant Program.

Strengthening the Fort Leonard Wood region