Looming Economic Impact Of Proposed Military Cuts - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Looming Economic Impact Of Proposed Military Cuts

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(KCEN) -- Killeen's economy is centered around one of the largest Military installations in the United States. 

So with the Pentagon's newly unveiled proposal to drastically shrink the Military's budget, businesses around Fort Hood stand to lose a lot of money.

"We mainly depend on soldiers here at Fort Hood," says "So Fresh N So Clean" barber shop owner Stephen Adams.

About 75 percent of his customers are U.S. troops, and Department of Defense plans to trim Army forces down to pre-WWII levels would seriously slice into his profits.

"I believe it would slow down the clientele, and the revenue that comes into the shops, but that's not only us, that's every military town that's supported by the Military."

Fort Hood soldiers cut from the Army would flood an already rebounding central Texas job market, where unemployment sits at 6.5 percent.

That's compared to 5.6 for the entire state of Texas.

So as Navy veteran Johnathan Taylor begins his search for work as a surgical or urology tech, he knows things might soon become a lot more competitive.

"It actually would have big impact, because you have the veterans who are getting off of active duty and that influx of job-seekers," says Johnathan.

Just how powerful that change would be remains unclear for now.

Many of the details of the spending plan have yet to be ironed out and debated by Congress.

Wendy Ann Damon with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas says, "There will definitely be an impact, we won't know the specific impact, until we know exactly how many soldiers are going to affected."

"But you're talking about potentially large numbers of people becoming unemployed right at the same time," Wendy Ann went on, "So that increases your number of people who are looking for work with the people who are already still looking for work."

Meanwhile, Stephen is hopeful the Military can find a way to straighten up its bottom line that won't cut into his.

"I think it's going to be bad for every business that's in the local area, but I guess only the strong survive," he said.

Some other local businesses owners tell KCEN that they are not worried just yet, because there is still a lot to learn about the proposed cuts to the Military.

Reporter: Sophia Stamas sstamas@kcentv.com

Photographer: Cameron Duckworth cduckworth@kcentv.com


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