SCWDB brings Fort Campbell to Franklin

Submitted photo

Local representatives are pictured along with members of the group from Fort Campbell, including Plant Manager of Stark Truss Mike McKinnis, CEO of Franklin Bank & Trust Gary Broady, Superintendent of Simpson County Schools Tim Schlosser, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College Provost James McCaslin, Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority Assistant Judy Burr, Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority Executive Director Dennis Griffin, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College AMT Success Coach Kelcie Richart,Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority Consultant Sherman Chaudoin and Franklin City Franklin Manager Kenton Powell.

On Friday, Aug. 23, the South Central Workforce Development Board (in conjunction with the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority and Logan Economic alliance for Development) hosted a one-day tour for several Fort Campbell organizations in efforts to educate soldiers transitioning out of the military as to the benefits of living and working South Central Kentucky.

The event titled "Vette Vision: The Road Trip" was designed to showcase South Central Kentucky communities and job opportunities to the very people that prepare and assist service members and military spouses with their exit from the military.

On average, over 400 service members exit the military from Fort Campbell each month, representing a huge potential talent pipeline for south Central Kentucky communities including Franklin-Simpson. By touring the region firsthand, participants gained a much deeper appreciation for job opportunities, schools, housing, parks, recreation and other quality of life aspects of the region.

Dennis Griffin, the executive director of the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Board Played a critical role in the planning and execution of the Simpson County leg of the tour. While in Simpson County, Fort Campbell delegation toured the historic courthouse, where they were welcomed by multiple community leaders.

"We are very appreciative of Jon Sowards and Leslie Witty making arrangements to bring in representatives of Fort Campbell to visit Franklin," Gary Broady, chairman of the Franklin Simpson Industrial Authority Board said. "Several of our industries will be recruiting exiting military personnel and their

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spouses to jobs currently available in south central Kentucky. We are excited to have these military families become part of our community."

Following the visit to downtown Franklin, Griffin joined the group serving as tour guide, showing off several neighborhoods, secondary schools, the Southcentral Kentucky Career and Technical College and multiple industrial parks.

The feedback from the Fort Campbell participants was extremely favorable.

"What a wonderful day surrounded by wonderful, like-minded professionals. [I'm] excited to share Vette Vision with our transitioning families and building more relationships in South Central Kentucky," Jennifer White, Heroes MAKE America Program manager said.

"What an awesome day filled with new experiences, education, and the touring of nearby counties," Cory Wingfield, Fort Campbell Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program, said. "We met with the wonderful folks, county officials and business leaders of South Central Kentucky. We also [learned] that there are over 6000 employment opportunities for transitioning service members, veterans and families. Kentucky is a wonderful place to live and work, great schools and communities and the list goes on an on."

The South Central Workforce Development Board anticipates a higher volume of referrals from Fort Campbell organizations as a result of the tour and plans to not only continue, but expand future regional tour efforts.

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