In recent years the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense have become the Port’s largest employers, accounting for nearly 6,500 jobs—mostly civilian professionals and officers. Anchored by the Lackland Annex—a 70-acre, 690,000-square-foot secure complex—the Port now houses numerous Air Force headquarters, including the 24th Air Force (Cyber Command), the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC), the Air Force Medical Operations Agency (AFMOA) and the Air Force Services Agency (AFSVA), among others. Lackland Annex is comprised of five office buildings, including the 460,000-square-foot Building 171, which houses 3,000 personnel.
A 45-acre Lindbergh Park site adjacent to Lackland Annex could host additional mixed-use and other types of development within the Port.
At the heart of the Port is the Kelly tradition to build careers and businesses to grow the community into the future. In light of employment shifts sweeping the country, particularly in the aerospace, manufacturing and information technology sectors, the Port has placed a continuing priority on workforce development over the last five years.
One strategy has been to provide land and facilities for further development of St. Philip’s College’s Southwest Campus, including the Academies programs it houses at the Port, which train a significant portion of the Port workforce. The Alamo Aerospace Academy has graduated over 300 students since 2002, of which 60 percent are gainfully employed with aerospace customers at the Port.
The Port continues to identify creative means to address compelling workforce opportunities and challenges. A notable milestone includes a 2012 agreement within the Port and Alamo Colleges, whereby the Port sold the community college district a 40,000-square-foot building and 30 acres of land at East Kelly Railport to allow the expansion of the St. Philip’s College Southwest Campus. Alamo Colleges can pay the $5.1 million market value of the property by providing customized training and re-training of aerospace workers at Kelly Field, based on the needs and determinations of the Port’s customers. Under the terms of this initiative, aerospace customers receive $12,000 in credit for training each new or existing employee, and this credit is applied toward Alamo Colleges’ debt for purchasing new property.
In addition, the Port’s mixed-use development provides on-site workforce housing options. In 2010 the Air Force transferred the 374-unit Billy Mitchell Village apartment complex to the Port, which was originally built in the 1940s as housing for military families. Upgrades to spacious townhome-style units that had been vacant for years began immediately, and residences were quickly leased. Today, the Port has upgraded and leased nearly 100 units, with a high occupancy rate and of which about half are rented by families who work for employers at the Port. Upcoming plans include upgrading more than 140 of the newer units at Billy Mitchell Village and to work with third-party developers to upgrade and add mixed-use office and retail space to the nearby Chennault Circle property— art deco duplex units built in the 1940s as officers’ quarters.