With the announced disestablishment of US Joint Forces Command, initiatives were immediately undertaken to assist those individuals who will be displaced by the Command or the numerous contractors who provide support to the Command and its mission. One of the organizations participating in this effort is the Chamber’s Small Business Development Center. Its role in this effort is to provide initial information on entrepreneurship and small business ownership so that those affected can make sound decisions on future career opportunities and then provide further training and counseling to those who chose this option.
A mid-April report from the command stated that Hampton Roads based civilian government employees will still have their jobs after JFCOM is dissolved later this year, with most of the cuts being among private contract employees.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on April 28 to open the Virginia Regional Center for the United States Joint Forces Commission (USJFCOM) Workforce Transitional and Business Development Building in Suffolk. This Center will provide business and workforce development services including entrepreneurship assistance, communication and outreach activities, worker assessment, career counseling, job matching, training, and a variety of other career related workshops.
Speakers at the ceremony included Terrie L. Suit, Virginia Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security; Patrick J. O'Brien, Director, Office of Economic Adjustment; Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, Jr., Commander of USJFCOM Joint Enabling Capabilities Command; Linda T. Johnson, Mayor, City of Suffolk; and Paul D. Fraim, Mayor, City of Norfolk. Also in attendance was Congressman Bobby Scott.
Regarding the opening of the transition center, Governor McDonnell remarked, “This transition center is the culmination of months of hard work between state and local government, as well as the Office of Economic Adjustment. Though we had hoped to keep all of USJFCOM intact, the employees who are being affected by the 50% force reduction will have the benefit of a full-time transition center that will provide them with the tools necessary to transition to another job in the shortest amount of time possible.”
Secretary Terrie Suit added, “While we are disappointed that we could not keep the entirety of the command whole, we are encouraged that we were able to secure grant funding from the Office of Economic Adjustment in order to open this essential facility and provide job and business development tools to our citizens.”
Earlier this month, a new website, www.JFCOMtransition.com was created to help any employees or businesses that are being affected by the upcoming transition. The site was designed as a way to develop a strategy that meets personal, career, and training needs related with the USJFCOM announcement.
Along with the website, an Assistance Hotline was created and launched in March by Opportunity, Inc., a workforce development organization. The website and hotline are just some of the programs and resources that are being made available to those lives are being affected by the transition. The Assistance Hotline is: 757-461-7537.