A Louisville organization that helps homeless people has been awarded a $300,000 grant to provide homeless female veterans and veterans with families with job training to help them succeed in civilian careers.
Volunteers of America in Louisville will receive the funding from the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. The agency announced Monday it is awarding 22 grants totaling more than $5 million to help about 1,900 veterans.
The Labor Department said services provided will include job placement, on-the-job and classroom training, career counseling, life skills and money management mentoring and help in finding housing.
Military posts all over the country began scaling back operations this week under furloughs ordered by the Department of Defense. A total of 11 days must be taken before September 30th due to across-the-board cuts in the federal budget.
At Fort Knox, about 5,900 civilian workers will be impacted. Fort Knox Spokesman Kyle Hodges says work weeks will be shortened to 32 hours.
"In large part, the furloughs will take place on Mondays or Fridays. However, depending on the office, there may be some exceptions."
Some positions, like medical and combat, are exempt.
Fort Knox is the largest employer in the Hardin County region. The local economy could feel the pinch of furloughs as the civilian workforce earns less money between now and the end of the fiscal year.
Fort Knox is unveiling the largest solar panel array on a military installation east of the Mississippi River. The new additions will complement the large solar network already operating at the post.
A ceremony Wednesday morning at the Hardin County army post will debut the array, which will be larger than any other solar panel farm in the state of Kentucky.
The new system includes 10,000 photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight into electricity. A Fort Knox spokesman says the post will be able to supplant a portion of its energy consumption with the solar panels at a cheaper rate than electricity provided by local power plants.
The new array was constructed at no cost to the government through a partnership with Nolin Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation.
At the conclusion of a 25-year contract, ownership of the array will be transferred to Ft. Knox, with all energy production available to the military post at no cost.
Governor Steve Beshear says he will be working with Kentucky's Congressional delegation to hopefully soften the loss of a brigade at Fort Knox.
The cuts announced Tuesday will deactivate the Third Brigade Combat Team, which has about 3,500 soldiers. The number of active duty combat brigades is being slashed as the military returns to pre-9\11 troop levels.
Beshear says not much can be done about the federal decision, but the state can continue to position Fort Knox as a vital resource to the Defense Department. He suggests building on changes the post made under the military's base re-alignment some five years go.
"We ended up building the biggest office building in this state on Fort Knox to house the Human Resources Command that handles all human resources for the Army," Beshear remarks. "Why not move human resources for the Air Force, Marines, Navy to that location?"
Beshear claims having human resources for every military branch at one location could be an efficiency measure for the Department of Defense. In addition, he says officials will be looking at other ways to maximize the use of Fort Knox.