The Valley Partnership Joint Development Authority (Valley Partnership) commissioned a study (completed by Matrix) in 2015 to determine the impacts of military personnel drawdown at Fort Benning, GA. The study estimated the region experienced a loss of roughly 5,100 total jobs and approximately $800 million in gross domestic product associated with the loss of approximately 3,000 military personnel. To help the region recover from this loss, the Valley Partnership worked closely with the Office of Economic Adjustment to secure an additional grant opportunity to execute a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) effort throughout the greater Columbus Region. This effort focused on developing a regional action plan for the greater Columbus Region along with twenty-one (21) actionable recommendations in the following key areas:

1) Target Industry Cluster Prioritization,
2) Workforce Development,
3) Education Curriculum and Programmatic Adjustments,
4) Workforce Recruitment and
5) Requirements of a Formal Business Retention and Expansion Program.

Photo Credit: My Photo Jouneys, Flickr