FORT DRUM — Fort Drum’s direct economic impact grew 8% this year and infused more than $1.4 billion into the north country economy despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the post’s annual report released for 2020.
The installation’s direct economic impact to the tri-county area grew despite the financial crisis caused by the global pandemic, as outlined in the detailed review of the post’s annual report.
Since Fiscal Year 1988, local support to this installation has enabled steady growth in training opportunities and readiness with a total cumulative investment by the U.S. Department of Defense of more than $28 billion.
“Our partnership with the north country community is second to none and knowing we are making such a tremendous impact on the local economy reiterates to me how important Fort Drum is to our nation’s security,” said Maj. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, commanding general of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division.
By far, the greatest impact is made through paychecks, according to the report. Fort Drum is the largest single-site employer in the area with payrolls from military, civilian, contractor and retirees totaling $1.24 billion. More than 30,000 soldiers and family members call Northern New York home.
The report states that during the past year, Fort Drum’s partnership with schools proved invaluable as everyone worked to navigate distance-learning. Area school districts received $41,411,597 for federal impact aid in Fiscal Year 2020 as a direct result of military students attending school at off-post local districts, as opposed to Department of Defense-run schools on post.
“We are grateful for the strong partnerships we have with the school districts, local governments, medical facilities which provide first rate care to our soldiers and families, and the local police authorities who help create a safe environment for us,” Maj. Gen. Mennes said.
Col. Jeffery P. Lucas, Fort Drum garrison commander, thanked the community for its support of Fort Drum, the soldiers and their families during deployments, teaching their children and providing the civilian workforce.
“While we are highlighting our economic impact in this report, we would be remiss if we didn’t also shine a light on the impact the community has on nearly every aspect of what we do,” Col. Lucas said.
Sustainability is the key to economic impact longevity, according to the report, and Fort Drum’s environmental stewards are working hard to ensure a long, healthy future for the installation. In Fiscal Year 2020, Fort Drum recycled more than 4,992 tons of municipal solid waste, and 22,667 tons of construction and demolition debris.
“We think there is no better place to train world-class soldiers than right here and we look forward to being contributing members of this great community for a long time to come,” Col. Lucas said.
Read the entire 2020 Fort Drum Economic Impact Statement by following this link: home.army.mil/drum/index.php/about/economic-impact-statement.