Army Finance Changes Could Cost Indiana Thousands Of Jobs

A proposed Army pilot program regarding the military's finances would eliminate thousands of jobs in Lawrence, Ind.

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Photo: Dave Dugdale (Flickr)

Changes to how the military handles its finances would eliminate Indiana jobs.

An Army pilot program could change the way the Department of Defense handles its finances, which could put nearly 2,000 Hoosier jobs at risk.

The Secretary of Defense created the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in 1991 to handle military book keeping.

The headquarters in Lawrence, Ind. employs more than 4,000 government civilian service workers. They  assist the military with things such as  payroll and financial analysis.

But several weeks ago rumors began circulating that the Army may be working on a plan to handle its finances  internally – potentially reducing or eliminating the need for about half the employees in Lawrence.

American Federation of Government Employees Spokesperson Tamika McMillan says her union  members are concerned.

“What we’re just trying to do is just find out some very important information on how it will impact the employees here at DFAS because they have a long longevity being here,” McMillan said.

McMillan says the union reached out to Washington for answers.

In response, the Indiana Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Undersecretary of Defense Robert Hale asking for details about the new army pilot program.

Thomas Cook is the Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Lawrence. He says if anything, the Department of Defense should be thinking about expanding its presence in Lawrence.

“We have a growing military job center and an economic hub that we think is second to none in the country and a work force that is well-trained and ready to get doing the great work that they have been doing,” Cook said.

Both McMillan and Cook say they hope to be included in conversations as the Department of Defense rolls out the pilot program next month.

Jimmy Jenkins

Jimmy Jenkins is a multimedia journalist for WFIU and WTIU news. A native of Terre Haute, he is a masters student at the Indiana University School of Journalism and is proud to be a part of the public broadcasting stations he listened to and watched since he was a child. Follow him on Twitter @newsjunkyjimmy.

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