For Immediate Release - June 26, 2012


Report affirms the major impact and value of military bases for the state’s economy

BOSTON – Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray and members of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force today joined the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Donahue Institute to release the state’s first preliminary findings on the jobs and economic impact of Massachusetts’ six military bases. The comprehensive data indicates Massachusetts’ six military installations support more than 45,000 jobs and contribute more than $13.7 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy annually. 

“In every region of the Commonwealth, there are critical jobs that support our military bases and defense industry and we cannot afford to overlook the value of these jobs,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “With this new data and report, Massachusetts can further showcase the economic and national security benefits of our bases as the Task Force and our congressional delegation actively protects and promotes the state’s military bases. We will continue to evaluate strategic investments at each military base to leverage increased job creation and spur economic growth across Massachusetts.” 

As chair of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force (Task Force), Lieutenant Governor Murray earlier this year tasked MassDevelopment to collaborate with the UMass Donahue Institute and assess the economic benefits of Massachusetts’ six military installations including: Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee; Barnes Air National Guard in Westfield; the U.S. Army’s Soldier Systems Center in Natick; Fort Devens; Hanscom Air Force Base; and the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod.

With potential federal defense budget cuts looming across the country, today’s released preliminary data affirms the economic benefit of the state’s military installations as the Task Force continues to partner with the Massachusetts congressional delegation to further promote, position and protect the state’s six military bases. 

In Fiscal Year 2011, the six military installations directly employed 14,500 full and part-time active, reserve and guard military and civilian personnel. By investing $9.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2011, the bases contributed to another $4.6 billion in spending and added more than 30,600 jobs to the Massachusetts economy. Massachusetts’ military installations provide rapid response to local, domestic and international security missions. The bases also assist with natural disasters including the tornadoes that swept through western and central Massachusetts last year. The bases serve as training posts, air bases and contracting centers for the Commonwealth, and the nation as a whole.

“This comprehensive report details the massive economic contributions of the Commonwealth's military installations,” said Major General L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General (Acting), Massachusetts National Guard. “In addition to the tens of thousands of jobs our military installations support, the report also recognizes that the calculated positions of our military's installations also allow for rapid response to local, domestic, and international security missions, as well as natural disasters. That kind of support, in my opinion, is priceless.”

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in this report confirming the economic and tactical importance of our military bases,” said Senate President Therese Murray. “We know how valuable our bases are in providing emergency response and high-tech research, and we must do everything we can to protect the many jobs, services and innovations supported by our military installations.”

Today’s released findings also indicate Hanscom Air Force Base and the U.S. Army’s Soldier Systems Center in Natick have key roles in Commonwealth’s innovation economy with expenditures for research, development and acquisition activities totaling nearly $5.5 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively. Across all six bases, the military installations are actively involved in the Commonwealth’s growing innovation economy. The jobs and economic activity directly and indirectly related to each base play a pivotal role in the state’s cluster of defense companies and research institutions that support military and national security. 

“Effective defense requires support from highly skilled workers, precision manufacturing and scientific and technical experts,” said Martin Romitti, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research with the UMass Donahue Institute. “Military bases like those in Massachusetts have become crucial hubs for promoting and making these connections and innovations possible, to the great benefit of U.S. national security and the economies of communities and industries across the Commonwealth.”

In addition to today’s released data, the UMass Donahue Institute and the Defense Technology Initiative (DTI) released another report yesterday on the defense industry in New England, which indicates Massachusetts’ defense and homeland security sectors were responsible for 130,000 jobs generating $25.7 billion in economic activity in Fiscal Year 2011.

Commissioned by the DTI, this additional report captures the deep connections the defense industry has in Massachusetts and throughout New England. This first-of-its-kind regional study provides an assessment of the economic contribution by all U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts awarded to companies and institutions in New England, including those awarded through military installations. 

The DTI report found that much of the contract activity in New England involves developing advanced technologies for defense and homeland security purposes. Throughout New England, federal defense and homeland security contracts stimulated $33.9 billion in spending in the New England economy in 2011 and supported more than 319,000 jobs in the region. Massachusetts received $13.9 billion in DOD and DHS contracts, an increase of 83 percent since 2003 and also the highest amount of contracts in comparison to other New England states. Approximately 2,500 firms and institutions located across the Commonwealth received contract awards in Fiscal Year 2011. In Massachusetts, work performed under defense contracts is directly and indirectly responsible for a total of more than 130,000 jobs across the state.  

“These important studies reinforce the critical contributions the defense sector and these military installations make to the state and regional economies,” said DTI President Christopher Anderson. “But equally important are the contributions these bases make to the mission of the United States military. DTI looks forward to continue working with Lieutenant Governor Murray and our regional Congressional delegation to preserve and expand the region’s premier defense technology cluster.”

“The defense industry in Massachusetts is an important part of our world-leading innovation economy and is constantly creating new technology that makes our troops more effective and safer than ever,” said Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “One of the priorities of our long-term economic development plan is continuing the momentum of our innovation economy and the defense sector will be one of the drivers of that growth.”

“The Massachusetts defense industry represents a major but often underappreciated driver of our innovation economy,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We’re pleased that with the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Murray, the UMass Donahue Institute has quantified the impacts of this sector that MassDevelopment will continue to strengthen.”

DTI also co-chairs the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force’s Subcommittee on Business, Industry and Military Alignment with the New England Council. Together, they are engaging the business and industry community on efforts to protect the state’s military bases.

"This data reaffirms the important economic impact of our region's military  bases and the role our defense industry plays in the New England economy,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of The New England Council. “As federal spending cuts loom, it is critical that those of us in both the public and private sectors continue to work collaboratively to support and advocate for our bases and our defense sector businesses.”

About the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force

With the support of Governor Deval Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray signed Executive Order #541 creating the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force on February 27.  As chair of the Task Force, Lieutenant Governor Murray leads regular meetings including tours, roundtable discussions and committee meetings in support of the state’s six military bases. To learn more about the Task Force, please visit:

About the UMass Donahue Institute

The University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute provides government, business, and non-profit organizations with effective solutions in the areas of research, organizational development, training, and technical assistance. The Institute is the public service, outreach, and economic development unit of the University of Massachusetts President's Office. Working with clients, they draw upon the faculty and staff from the five UMass campuses, bridging academic theory with real-world business applications.

About the Defense Technology Initiative

By partnering with the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, DTI is leading the Commonwealth’s strategic efforts to support Natick Soldier Systems Center and Hanscom Air Force Base and its Electronic Systems Center. Founded in 2003, DTI was originally created by the Massachusetts High Technology Council to protect Massachusetts’ military technology bases through the 2005 federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Following that successful and nationally-recognized effort, DTI evolved into an economic development and sector advocacy organization that represents the region’s leading defense technology firms, research labs, universities and military bases. 


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