The City of Radcliff and KRDA hosted a welcome reception for Fort Knox’s new Garrison Commander, Col. C.J. King. This is Col. King’s second assignment at Fort Knox. We are glad to have him and his wife Samantha back here with us. To see Col. King's bio, click here.
Leaders from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Knox on Tuesday celebrated a new partnership that strengthens civilian career opportunities for soldiers at Fort Knox and across the globe.
The new Advanced Manufacturing Army Career Skills Program (CSP) gives soldiers a path to train in three areas: computer aided drafting and design, electrical technology and engineering and electronics technology. Each program offers an opportunity to earn industry certificates that lead to in-demand careers. The training is available to soldiers at any duty station who have 180 or fewer days of service remaining.
ECTC and Fort Knox officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday, followed by tours of ECTC advanced manufacturing training facilities.
“Serving our military members and veterans has always been a top priority for ECTC, and we look forward to helping them prepare for success in the thriving advanced manufacturing field through this new program,” said ECTC President Dr. Juston Pate. “We are very proud to partner with Fort Knox and to create a new talent pipeline for our region’s employers.”
Fort Knox leaders also touted the partnership between the post and the college.
“ECTC and Dr. Pate’s partnership with Fort Knox is remarkable,” said Col. Pat Kaune, Fort Knox garrison commander. “I greatly appreciate their dedication and commitment to bringing this program to fruition, which will ultimately help our soldiers long after they’ve taken off the uniform.”
In addition, the advanced manufacturing CSP presents an opportunity for employers and the broader community, said Knox Regional Development Alliance President and CEO Jim Iacocca.
“Military talent from across the Army will train at ECTC, and we have a unique opportunity to show them all that the Greater Fort Knox Region has to offer and connect them to local employers who are hiring now.” Iacocca said.
The advanced manufacturing sector is experiencing tremendous growth in the communities served by ECTC and beyond, creating careers — not just jobs — for workers with the right skills, Pate said.
“When you pair high-quality advanced manufacturing training with the work ethic and leadership of a U.S. Army Soldier, you develop talent that will not only meet the needs of today’s businesses, but also help those companies grow and create new opportunities,” Pate said.
Students will train tuition-free through the Work Ready Scholarship. Further, Fort Knox will provide no-cost housing, making the program even more accessible to transitioning soldiers interested in advanced manufacturing careers.
Soldiers interested in the program should contact Harriet Taylor at The Education Center at Fort Knox at 502-624-8246.
At KRDA's Lunch with a Fort Knox Leader, Maj. Gen. Donnie Walker talked about his role as Commanding General of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command. 1st TSC Soldiers are deployed in over 20 countries around the world - ensuring warfighters have the supplies and transportation capabilities they need to accomplish their missions.
The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) national summit provided an important opportunity to exchange information and hear directly from national defense leaders such as U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and Secretary of the Army Mark Esper. An audience member asked what the attendees could do for the Army and Secretary Esper responded to hire military spouses. The good news is that KRDA and Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs (KCMA) have been working on several programs to increase spouse employment around Fort Knox and across the Commonwealth. In fact, Kentucky is one of just a handful of states that do offer reciprocity of licensure for various skills for military spouses.
Additionally, the Secretary commented that when they look at resourcing various military posts they consider the quality of life for the whole family which consists of education, employment opportunities, medical care and housing – the Greater Fort Knox Region is in great shape on all these accounts and getting better. In fact, the Secretary sent a letter to Gov. Matt Bevin thanking him for the Commonwealth’s efforts in making the quality of life and spouse employment a priority and passing legislation to make improvements to these areas.
Another big concern about basing of forces is the impact of climate change. The region is very fortunate that Fort Knox is a leader in energy resilience. KRDA worked with our congressional delegation to be able to discuss Fort Knox’s energy resilience (this required the resolution of issues between the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior). The Army publicly recognized Fort Knox during an open forum at an ADC conference. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability (DASA, E&S) Jack Surash complimented Fort Knox on its program and former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Kathleen Hammock also discussed Fort Knox’s PEER (Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal) certification. KRDA President Brig. Gen. (Ret) Jim Iacocca had the opportunity to talk with both of them during the summit.
The Knox Regional Development Alliance recently announced the selection of local entrepreneur and Army veteran Beth Avey as its vice president. KRDA CEO retired Brig. Gen. Jim Iacocca called Avey uniquely suited for the position given her military experience and her longstanding relationships in the community.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Beth in her role at Heartland Communications and have seen firsthand what she brings to the table,” said Iacocca. “Beth’s expertise will be an incredible asset as KRDA works to promote Fort Knox and the surrounding region. Having her on the KRDA team will allow us to take our work to a new level.”
Established in 2016, KRDA’s mission is to protect and promote Fort Knox to increase its economic impact.
Avey said she has a great affinity for KRDA’s work. An Army assignment to Fort Knox first brought her to the region 20 years ago. She moved away from 2002 – 2005 when her Army career ultimately took her to the Pentagon.
“When the opportunity to return to the Fort Knox region came, we jumped at it. It seemed like the perfect place to grow roots and raise a family,” said Avey.
Avey added that the marketing business she co-founded got its start with the One Knox initiative which helped the region prepare for and benefit from the growth at Fort Knox because of the 2005 BRAC.
Avey said in a way it’s all come full circle, and she couldn’t be more excited.
She called her departure from the Heartland Communications Consultants bittersweet, but said she leaves knowing the talented team is under great leadership with Kenny Rambo as CEO and Stephanie Wetzel as a managing partner.
“We’ve had this succession plan ready for when the time is right. The firm is in a great place, and I have a great opportunity to continue to make a positive difference for this region,” said Avey.
KRDA board chairman and Fort Knox Federal Credit Union CEO Ray Springsteen called Avey’s selection ideal.
“Beth has essentially been telling the story of Fort Knox and our region for more than a decade,” said Springsteen. “She and Brig. Gen. Iacocca will make a great team.”
Avey will start with KRDA on Aug. 1.
The following article was featured on Association of Defense Communities website on May 22 as part of a Memorial Day Weekend tribute.
The Greater Fort Knox Region, Ky., a 2018 Great American Defense Community, has a long history of exemplary support to soldiers and families stationed at the famed installation as well as the thousands of veterans and military retirees who call the region home. That includes the region’s Vietnam veterans.
After the traveling Vietnam Memorial wall visited the area, the community decided it wasn’t enough. They raised more than $600,000 to install an 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
The memorial opened in April 2018, and draws veterans from surrounding states, said Jim Iacocca, president and CEO of the Knox Regional Development Alliance.
“So not only are we serving our region’s veterans but thousands more,” Iacocca said.
This story material was submitted by the Greater Fort Knox Region. It is being published by On Base as a remembrance for Memorial Day this Monday, May 27. More on the replica memorial is in the upcoming issue of “America’s Defense Communities” magazine, which will be available at ADC’s 2019 Defense Communities National Summit in Washington June 10-12.