CHICOPEE — The Donahue Institute at UMass Amherst issued a study Tuesday showing that the Westover Metropolitan Development Corporation (WMDC) industrial parks in Chicopee and Ludlow and the civilian airport generate an estimated $2.2 billion a year in direct and indirect revenues.
The report was released at a press conference at a hangar at the base attended by dozens of area economic development leaders. It states that the industrial parks and airport have increased the number of jobs in the region, employing 3,600 people across the Hampden County area. Also, 69% of workers in the airparks earn more than $3,333 per month, compared to 55% of workers across the state. Business activity at WMDC-developed areas generates almost 8,500 jobs around Massachusetts annually.
The WMDC is a quasi-public development corporation formed in 1974 to convert military property in the vicinity of Westover Air Force base to productive civilian uses. WMDC has developed more than 1,300 acres of land in the area and currently operates the Westover Civilian Airport and three industrial parks.
The report notes that businesses within the airparks and the airport also contribute more than $6 million in local taxes. Businesses in Chicopee paid a total of $4.32 million in local taxes, while businesses in Ludlow paid $1.87 million in local taxes.