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Defense Grant Could Help Crane Contractors
Updated December 28, 2015 8:56 AM | Filed under: Business
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(CRANE) - The state of Indiana is looking for ways to mitigate any downturn in defense spending and it is using a $2.7 million grant to do it.

The Washington Herald reports the grant was awarded to the Indiana Office of Defense and Development (IODD) as part of the Defense Industry Adjustment funds from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. State officials say the grant will be used to better understand and develop an action plan for Indiana to assist businesses and communities who are impacted by reductions in DOD defense spending nationally, procurement accounts, as well as the uncertainty in the federal budgeting process.

"We know that the defense industry has a profound impact on Indiana 's overall economy, says Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. "Through the OEA grant we will continue to foster a culture that supports our businesses and helps to identify defense related opportunities for continued growth and prosperity."

While the grant covers all of the state and will impact areas like Terre Haute and Ft. Wayne, with the world's third largest Navy base set in southern Indiana the grant will also impact businesses in southwestern Indiana.

Radius Indiana is an agency involved in linking businesses with Crane.

The state plans to develop an Indiana Defense Community Transition Strategy which supports defense diversification strategies at the local and regional levels. The grant will allow for an assessment to identify small and mid-sized manufacturers and companies as well as cities and towns most at risk to be affected by defense reductions. The results of the analysis will assist Indiana in aligning its existing assets as well as determine opportunities for businesses to enter new markets and develop the workforce necessary to provide the defense industry services that provide economic growth.

"IODD continues to be an advocate for Indiana's strong defense ecosystem," said IODD Executive Director Duane Embree. "It's critical that we continue to help our defense companies diversity their scope and provide further assistance to ensure our workforce is equipped with the skill sets need for the future. The OEA grant will aid in this mission as we continue to work together to enhance economic development throughout our state."

Officials say there is a concerted effort to try and grow the defense industry in Indiana and to create an awareness of just how large the impact of defense spending is on the economy of the state. This is not only about preparing operations in Indiana to convert some of their defense skills to civilian production, but it is also about building worker skills so that Indiana companies can be more competitive in seeking defense department contracts.

Even though the Defense Industry Adjustment funds were created to deal with the outcome of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) officials say the public should not read too much into the programs.

State officials say the scope of the grant includes the development of a defense-related supply chain in Indiana, workforce development recommendations for sustained growth and identifying defense technologies to expand entrepreneurship opportunities.

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