National Grid Rallies Support for Fort Drum Soldiers and Community
WATERTOWN, N.Y., March 10, 2015 – The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) today received a $48,000 economic development investment through National Grid’s Strategic Marketing Program to help boost FDRLO’s efforts to rally support to protect Fort Drum from major troop reductions.
Fort Drum, home of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, is the largest single site employer in New York State with a $1.8 billion impact in 2014 on the surrounding region. However, as the Army evaluates where it may reduce personnel at thirty different installations across the country, Fort Drum faces a potential loss of 16,000 military and civilian personnel—84 percent of the personnel currently assigned at the Post.
“The impact of any significant reduction would spread devastating ripples across the region,” said Carl A. McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization. “FDRLO’s economic impact model estimates that cuts of 16,000 at Fort Drum would result in the loss of an additional 4,700 off-post civilian jobs in the three surrounding counties of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence.”
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As part of its evaluation process, the Army is conducting public listening sessions at each of the thirty installations potentially affected by troop reductions. The Fort Drum listening session will be held at 6:00 P.M. on March 20, 2015 in the auditorium at Jefferson Community College in Watertown. The community is also organizing a rally in the JCC gymnasium at 5:00 P.M., just prior to the listening session.
”This is our chance to demonstrate our support for Fort Drum, and to convince the Pentagon of the value this community brings to Fort Drum, the Army, its soldiers, and military families,” said McLaughlin. “We have to fill that auditorium and gymnasium!”
The $48,000 grant from National Grid’s Strategic Marketing Program, along with $23,000 from the New York State Association of Realtors, and $3,000 from the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors, is helping to fund a multi-media campaign to raise public awareness of what is at stake and to generate high turnout at the March 20th rally and listening session.
”Fort Drum is a huge economic engine for the region and for the whole of New York State,” said Melanie Littlejohn, regional executive of National Grid Central New York Division. “Troop reductions would start a devastating spiral of disinvestment from which the community would struggle to recover, National Grid’s Strategic Marketing Program is designed to help the region attract and retain jobs and we are pleased to be a partner in the effort to save Fort Drum.”
In addition, all of the local news media have pledged to match the paid advertising with over $31,000 in in-kind support. Other area businesses have donated billboard space, conducted their own promotional mailings, and done additional advertising on their own.
The campaign appears to be having an impact from the response FDRLO has been receiving. “We can’t thank these supporters enough,” said McLaughlin.
Anyone wishing to sign the online petition supporting Fort Drum, or wishing more information, may visit www.drum2025.com. To-date, over 14,000 online and hand-written signatures have been collected.
About Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization
The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) fosters effective communication, understanding and support by serving as the primary point of coordination and advocacy for resolution of those issues of mutual interest of the military and civilian community of the Fort Drum region.
The goal of FDRLO is to ensure the continued growth and sustainability of Fort Drum and the Fort Drum region; continue to improve the understanding of the role of the FDRLO in the military and civilian community of the Fort Drum region; provide continuity in community relations to bridge the frequent changes in military and civilian leaders so that they can carry out their mutual responsibilities; and promote the benefits and unique value of Fort Drum and the Fort Drum region at the local, state and national levels.
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About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization.)
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