To qualify as a Community Reinvestment Act-approved program, a community meeting was held to review the organization’s progress in 2018 to bring private investment into strategic areas in the city. Staff also solicited community comment on its Plan of Work and efforts to bring investment into the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood region at the meeting. You can watch the full meeting here (update begins at the 33 minute mark).
The meeting was open to the public and attendees were asked to provide comment via live audience polling. The survey is available online through July 26 at killeenchamber.com/forward. Please fill out the survey and share with friends, family, staff and community members to help us ensure the most comprehensive audience possible. The survey is also available in Spanish or Korean if needed (contact Brian O’Connor at the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce to request translation).
Killeen Business Park Vacancy
14 Forward staff has been assisting KEDC in marketing a vacant building with office and warehouse space in the Killeen Business Park. Click here for more information about the facility, or contact Phyllis Gogue, firstname.lastname@example.org or 254.526.9551.
A Downtown Innovation District
This article is a continuation on Innovation Districts and how they might be used to shape the Killeen economy. As previously mentioned, studying the actions of other communities often provides cost-saving models to increase local competitiveness.
For years, Innovation Districts have been used to attract a confluence of talent from entrepreneurs, academics and tech start-ups. These Districts emphasize collaborative space and innovation to create an environment that unites disruptive ideas to encourage new products. There are countless examples that young well-educated professionals are drawn to these live-work-play hubs for entrepreneurs and knowledge workers.
Top questions to ask when planning an innovation district
Innovation districts show promise as an economic development tool, but there are a range of questions policymakers, practitioners and planners should consider prior to and while pursuing the strategy, according to new research from RTI International’s Center for Applied Economics and Strategy. In Planning for an Innovation District: Questions for Practitioners to Consider, authors Sara Lawrence, Michael Hogan and Elizabeth Brown describe the innovation district phenomenon, define key-terms and concepts, and highlight empirical evidence that offers reasons for why they might find success as an economic development tool.
Story Credit: Sara Lawrence, Michael Hogan, and Elizabeth Brown, RTI Press | Full Story
The Research Park Committee met in June and July to discuss progress on the research park and an upcoming opportunity to partner with OTC to generate private sector interest in being a part of the park.
Army petroleum specialists display pipeline of talent
Every year, thousands of men and women raise their right hand and pledge to defend this nation. Though not all these service members stay until retirement, setting them up for success after life in the military is always a priority.
Petroleum specialists from First Army Division West, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, along with the Fort Hood Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program, hosted eight petroleum companies from Houston and San Antonio, Texas and other partner cities of Fort Hood June 21.
Full Story | Story & Photo Credit: Photo Credit: DVIDS, Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Ringold, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
Academic credentialing program could boost Soldier retention, says SMA
The Army could add to its record retention numbers by providing more incentive for Soldiers to stay on duty, the service's top enlisted leader said Wednesday.
The Army has been testing a pilot program for academic credentialing at Fort Hood, Texas, and plans to extend the program to several major installations by the end of 2019, said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel Dailey. The Army plans to spread the program to all installations in fiscal year 2020.
Full Story | Story Credit: Photo Credit: Joe Lacdan, U.S. Army; Photo Credit:: Luc Dunn, AUSA
Bandwidth infrastructure improving for some Killeen businesses, residents
A privately funded initiative to improve the economic infrastructure of Killeen revamped the local internet system allowing for faster speeds for businesses and many residents.
In one year, improvements made possible by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce’s 14 Forward campaign have elevated Killeen’s download speed to 624th from 722nd place, according to Bandwidth Now, a national bandwidth Internet rating system.
Full Story | Story & Photo Credit: Jacob Brooks, Killeen Daily Herald
Small cells in Killeen boost coverage, lay groundwork for the future
Small, almost recognizable cellphone towers, known as “small cells” are boosting network coverage for Verizon customers across Killeen, and helping prepare for a fifth generation of wireless technology in years to come.
High-power “macro” towers will continue to keep signals strong across large distances, but small cells — the size of a picnic cooler or a mini-fridge — will increase coverage in high-traffic areas, according to the Verizon website.
Full Story | Story & Photo Credit: Erin Eskew, Killeen Daily Herald
Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition Update
The Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition (GCSHC) met last month to update regional infrastructure and economic development leaders on the coalition's effort to win expanded I-14 congressional designation across Louisiana, Mississippi and West Texas. Louisiana reps reported that they are working to obtain long-term support from the Central Louisiana Corridor to obtain funding for future expansion within the state. The roadway is being promoted for its role as an economic development corridor and a component in coastal storm evacuation and alternative to impacted coastal highways.
Reps. Babin and Conaway introduced HR 2220 in April. It is co-sponsored by every Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi House member on the route, a critical requirement set by the House T&I Committee to move the bill forward. The designation is not a mandate and provides no funding but is necessary to allow for future state and federal funding of I-14 related projects. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has a strong interest in being the lead sponsor of the I-14 expansion bill and is also interested in extending the designation east across Alabama and Georgia.
Other Interstate 14 Updates
Columbus, GA-based Youth Infrastructure Coalition (YIC) continues to work hard towards I-14 expansion on the East Coast. Follow them to stay up to date with their activities.
With 500-1,000 Soldiers exiting the military from Fort Hood and entering the civilian workforce each month, Killeen is home to an abundance of talent. These men and women are equipped with a wealth of skills and experience that makes them highly sought after by employers in a variety of industries. Killeen is a prime location for businesses looking for quality talent. To learn more about the skills vets are bringing to the workforce and why employers are hiring them, watch the video above.
14 Forward Staff Updates
Staff is working to develop a report to submit to banking regulators to qualify 14 Forward bank investors for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credit. Once final, this report will be shared with all investors and be used to recruit additional investors to the program..
Board of Directors Meetings
Upcoming board meetings will be held on July 23 and October 22.
14 Forward Presentation
14 Forward board members are available to give presentations about the 14 Forward initiative to area civic groups or organizations interested in investing in the program. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation for your group, email email@example.com.