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New Reports: State Defense-contract Work Contributed $20B to Economy

The Commonwealth’s defense-contract work supported more than 88,000 workers and contributed more than $20 billion to the Massachusetts economy, while Massachusetts military installations directly or indirectly supported more than 57,000 jobs with a total economic contribution of more than $13 billion in fiscal year 2013, according to two new University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute reports. Massachusetts companies exemplifying the crucial and beneficial connections between the defense sector and small businesses include Holyoke’s Meridian Industrial Group, which does machining for portable MRI equipment; Southampton’s J&E Precision Tool, which produces components for Black Hawk helicopters, periscopes, and F-22s and F-35s; and CPI Radant Technologies Division in Stow, which develops components for military aircraft.

“The Commonwealth’s six bases and defense-related firms continue to have a major impact on the Massachusetts economy, both in terms of jobs and dollars,” said Gov. Baker. “Academia, business, and technology – three of the Commonwealth’s top sectors — play a role in our installations and defense contracts, helping this industry serve as an economic driver. We look forward to their continued growth and contribution to Massachusetts.”

The Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force and MassDevelopment commissioned the reports. The first studied the impact of the Commonwealth’s six military installations – Barnes Air National Guard Base, the Fort Devens Reserve Forces Training Area, Hanscom Air Force Base, Joint Base Cape Cod, the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center, and Westover Air Reserve Base — and the Massachusetts Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. To view the full report, click here.

“Massachusetts is on the cutting edge in helping our military modernize,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “The work that goes on at military installations and by defense contractors across the Commonwealth is critical to our national security and to our state’s economy, and I am glad to partner with our local industry to make certain that Washington recognizes and supports the excellent work done here.”

The second report studied the defense industry’s contribution to the New England economy, finding that in fiscal year 2013, New England defense contracting generated nearly $49 billion and more than 218,000 jobs.

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