Fort Drum honored for readiness

A sign on Route 11 northbound welcomes people to Fort Drum. Watertown Daily Times

FORT DRUM — Fort Drum’s direct economic impact on Northern New York grew 4.6% over the previous fiscal year.

But Fort Drum’s actual impact is even greater, according to Advocate Drum, an organization that advocates to maintain Fort Drum’s positive impact on the north country.

Advocate Drum puts together its own economic impact report on the three-county area that takes into account indirect and induced impacts.

Fort Drum continues to play a significant role in the region’s economy, with $1,535,710,264 leveraged in the 2021 fiscal year, according to a Wednesday news release from the military installation.

By far, the greatest impact is made through paychecks.

Fort Drum is the largest single-site employer in the area with payrolls from military, civilian, contractor and retirees totaling $1,263,712,184. More than 35,000 soldiers and family members call Northern New York home.

Advocate Drum believes that Fort Drum plays a bigger role in the region’s economy, according to its own news release.

Under Advocate Drum’s model, Fort Drum’s economic impact is nearing $1.96 billion, or a 7% increase from $1.83 billion last year. That includes $1.54 billion in direct spending in the regional economy, plus an indirect and induced impact of $421 million, as calculated by Advocate Drum’s model.

“In order to understand the full economic impact of that spending on the three-county region, you have to understand the additional economic activity that spending generates and the jobs that spending supports,” said David J. Zembiec, CEO of Jefferson County Economic Development and an Advocate Drum board member.

While Fort Drum’s report comprises just military and other on-post salaries, Advocate Drum also looks at indirect impacts of additional off-post jobs and Fort Drum’s purchasing of supplies and services from businesses in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties.

Induced impacts take into account re-spending of wages associated with both the direct and indirect jobs.

As they re-spend their incomes, workers generate business in other sectors of the economy, according to Advocate Drum.

Its model also takes into consideration that different categories of spending reported by Fort Drum have different multiplier effects in the local economy.

The model was developed by EBP US, based in Boston. It’s maintained for Advocate Drum by the Jefferson County Planning Department.

The Advocate Drum model shows that 19,568 military and civilian jobs were directly employed at Fort Drum in 2021, the largest employer in the state.

Fort Drum-related spending also supported 6,340 jobs in the larger regional economy.

“Those are jobs not on Fort Drum but that exist off-post because of Fort Drum,” Mr. Zembiec said.

That totals 25,908 jobs and accounts for 23.6% of the area’s wage earners, with 23,938 in Jefferson County, 1,229 in Lewis County, 477 in St. Lawrence County and the remaining outside of the area.

The 6,340 jobs represents 20 different industry sectors, with the top-five categories being health care and social services, followed by educational services, wholesale trade, retail trade and food and accommodations.

The top five occupations are office and administration, education and training and health care practitioners, sales, and food preparation and serving.

The three counties’ leaders said they were not surprised by the impact that Fort Drum has on the region.

“Fort Drum continues to be the engine that drives our economy in the north country,” Lewis County Manager Ryan M. Piche said.

Jefferson County Administrator Robert J. Hagemann III said the Advocate Drum report demonstrates the crucial role that soldiers and their families play in the community.

“Year after year, the report confirms Fort Drum’s positive impact on the north country’s business environment, employment levels and the fiscal health of our local governments and schools,” said Ruth A. Doyle, St. Lawrence County administrator.

Since fiscal year 1988, the first year of the report, Fort Drum has contributed more than $30 billion to the area economy.

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(2) comments


Be wary of a backdoor BRAC slipped in the Senate 2022 NDAA. An economy can not survive when its based on the government hog trough.


Drum does great things for the north country as well as for the rest of the USA.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

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