By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana
Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane delivered its annual State of the Installation address at the White River Military Coordination Alliance’s quarterly meeting and Crane Regional Defense Group’s Key Leader Series forum this past month. NSA Commander, Commander James Smith briefed the groups on successes over the past year, ongoing initiatives and workforce needs, and upcoming projects including a future base master plan.
Leaders from NSA Crane have delivered this address to the Alliance since its inauguration in 2018, and this was the first time Team Crane presented this information to an unrestricted audience during the CRDG Key Leader Series. The Alliance, which includes state and local government officials, regional and local economic development officials, and Crane representatives, was formed to strengthen the relationship between NSA Crane and the surrounding communities and is the parent organization to CRDG.
The annual State of the Installation address provides an opportunity for Team Crane to share its strategic goals and any operational changes or proposed construction projects that may impact the Alliance membership.
Cmdr. Smith delivered his third address, noting the following key updates and opportunities for community collaboration:
- Future mission growth and planning: NSA Crane will update its Installation Development Plan (Master Plan) in 2023, and Crane Army Ammunition Activity and Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane are also participating in strategic planning processes for modernization, mission growth, and future base design, respectively.
- Improvements and infrastructure: More than $150 million in construction projects and infrastructure improvements are currently underway on the installation.
- Recruitment and job trends: Through increased involvement at career fairs both virtually and in-person, social media postings, direct hiring authorities and engagement with direct commands, installation employment is expected to grow 3 to 5 percent over the next five years. NSWC Crane has hired over 950 individuals over the last three years, which represents the largest number seen since the 1980s.
- Opportunities for educational collaboration: Team Crane identified opportunities to continue to explore educational partnerships with state institutions that will build a strong talent pipeline to fill jobs, including Indiana University, Purdue University, Ivy Tech Community College, and Vincennes University.
As one of the largest employers in Southern Indiana, Crane plays an important role in the economies of our communities. Continued collaboration is key to building a strong relationship between community leaders and the public with those working inside the gates at Crane to make the most of opportunities that benefit our region.