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News | Jan. 10, 2018

Cumberland York Area Local Defense Group Holds Annual Meeting at DLA Distribution Headquarters

By Dawn Bonsell DLA Distribution Public Affairs

The Cumberland York Area Local Defense Group (CYALDG) hosted their annual meeting at DLA Distribution headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 8 and received an update on how DLA Distribution supports the Pennsylvania economy.

Perry Knight, DLA Distribution Chief of Staff provided an overview of DLA Distribution,  first discussing the Agency’s new Strategic Plan, which outlines the 5 lines of effort the Agency will be focusing on in the current fiscal year.  “We are not an idle organization…we continue to morph and change,” said Knight. The DLA Strategic Plan, developed diligently over a six-month period, will sustain DLA into the future—focusing on DLA as a global, innovative, agile organization to support the Warfighter.  Among the changes made to the DLA Strategic Plan is a new People and Culture plan.  As a companion document to the DLA Strategic Plan, the DLA People & Culture Plan is a human capital plan that establishes lines of effort and enterprise objectives to attract, develop, and retain a diverse, skilled and high performing workforce that thrives in a positive, mission-focused culture.  

The current workforce across the worldwide DLA Distribution network approaches 10,000 employees working in 34 distribution centers in 20 states and eight countries.  There are three DLA Distribution locations within Pennsylvania—New Cumberland, Mechanicsburg, and Tobyhanna. The Pennsyvlania locations contribute $285 million in local contracts within the state and employ over 2,000 employees earning $250 million in wages. The brief also highlighted special functions such as kitting and hazardous material handling, and network-wide transportation coordination.

The CYALDG members were very interested in learning about DLA Distribution’s support to the hurricane relief efforts in the fall of 2017, when 93 civilian personnel and 14 military personnel deployed to FEMA staging points to receive over 3,400 trailers loaded with more than 40 million liters of water and 22 million meals to support the hurricane victims. In addition, the group was interested in the Military Construction (MILCON) project update. Between fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2019, DLA Distribution will have invested over $349 million into the local economy in New Cumberland. Several projects have been completed while still others are in the planning/design phase. There are also several buildings scheduled for demolition. 

Following Knight’s remarks, Jonathan Bowser, CEO, Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC), led the advisory board’s annual business meeting. The Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission approached CAEDC in 2014 to establish a Cumberland York Area Local Defense Group to coordinate, advocate, develop and implement recommendations to enhance the military value of the installations in the area. These installations include the Carlisle Barracks, the Naval Support Activity, Mechanicsburg and the Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna, New Cumberland. The CAEDC believes that by creating and sustaining a successful CYALDG the area will be able to proactively identify and resolve issues affecting Pennsylvania military installations in Cumberland and Northern York Counties.