Junction City will be the ground zero for a military transition jobs project



When it comes to employment in the 21st century, it is an era of talent. Old models of brick and mortar buildings with jobs are becoming obsolete.

Junction City will be at the forefront of the new Junction for Military / Civilian Innovation project that could eventually be implemented at any military facility across the country to help troops leave service for well-paying jobs. This could happen in industries ranging from cybersecurity to technology and management professions. Other jobs could be in life, physical and social occupations, health professionals, installation-maintenance and repair, production and transportation, and materials moving occupations.

Approximately 2,200 to 2,600 soldiers leave the military each year at Fort Riley. If Junction City can only retain a small number of these employees in high paying positions, it could pay big dividends in local investments, home purchases, increased property income and sales taxes.

(LR) Consultant Troy Carlson and Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce President Mickey Fornaro – Dean.

Consultant Troy Carlson of Initiatives Inc. told an audience of local leaders that there is a need to create a talent transition / retention structure from Junction City to provide talent for the region. The focus will be on jobs in demand for the future.

A company called AstrumU will develop a database with partner companies to help start placing soldiers in in-demand jobs. So far, partner companies include T-Mobile, Evergy, P1, and JE Dunn and more may join later. As part of this project area, educational institutions could set up offices in Junction City, there could be companies wishing to establish a presence in Junction City and this could attract private investment in the community.

Carlson said military talent is highly desirable and could make a huge difference in the region. “Bricks and mortar don’t drive innovation and investment. It’s all about talent.” Talent drives business growth.

Carlson said the project could apply to a wide range of people ranging from retired veterans to high school students. Many federal agencies and contractors in the region need talent, and this region is surrounded by many federal jobs. He noted that there was “good potential for Junction City”.

The recommended initial steps begin with creating a talent infrastructure in Junction City, then raising funds so that a data analytics company can perform the initial analysis for Fort Riley, and then establishing a stacked diploma education infrastructure in Junction City to fill skills gaps. Companies with federal contracts and federal agencies in need of talent should be sought along with companies requiring security clearances. The focus should be on tech and cybersecurity companies, especially those in the region that work with federal officials and the Department of Defense. KSU Salina Aerospace and Technology and Wichita State University have both expressed their willingness to work with this project.

Break down the potential ROI for Junction City if five soldiers transitioning into the cybersecurity job category, earning an average salary of $ 105,585, remained in the community the first year, and that number rose to 80 at the end of year five, which could mean $ 8,446,800 in new payroll in the Geary County community. If all employment sectors were combined, there could be 864 jobs and a total of new wages in the community of $ 54,575,600 at the end of the five-year period.

Junction City manager Allen Dinkel attended the presentation on Tuesday night. He is excited about the potential of this project. “Anytime we can retain more soldiers and create more jobs, I think it will be great for this community.”

The City has invested funds in this project. Dinkel noted that so far the city has committed $ 225,000 in economic development funds, and then last week the city commission approved an additional six months at $ 15,000 per month with Initiatives Inc. to move the project forward. .



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