Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Military Cluster Targeted

The Prosperity Partnership has adopted its Military Cluster initiative as part of its overall regional economic development effort.

Making its first presentation to the Tacoma-Pierce Co. Chamber's Military Affairs Forum, Chris Strow and Olivia Robinson detailed the tremendous economic impact of the defense sector throughout the region.

A 2003 economic impact study showed a total of about 132,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region related to military bases. Sales by Puget Sound companies to local bases total $350 million per year.

The working group identified four main initiatives, which guided the selection of specific action items and implementation strategies:

  1. Understand and support the military mission in Washington state and at individual bases
  2. Enhance employment opportunities for military spouses and veterans
  3. Improve education opportunities for military personnel, spouses and children
  4. Use business attraction, retention and expansion strategies to expand the region’s military industry cluster.

Initiative item #3 is gaining traction in the current legislative session with companion bills HB1075 and SB5248.

The full strategy document will be available in February 2009.

No comments: