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3/11/2016 Chamber News
The Chamber Releases Air National Guard Economic Impact Study

Moorhead, Minn. (March 11, 2016) – The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber today released a study on Economic Effects of the 119th Wing of the Air National Guard on the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metropolitan area. The Chamber commissioned North Dakota State University’s Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics to do the study. Conducted by Department members Dean A. Bangsund and Nancy M. Hodur, the study shows an overall impact of $97.1 million on the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metro.

“This study reinforces the tremendous value the North Dakota Air National Guard brings to our communities,” said Chamber President and CEO Craig Whitney. “In addition to the vital role they continue to play in our nation’s security, the Air Guard’s presence is essential to the economy of our region. The last study of this kind was over 10 years ago, and it was way past time to update our figures on this important component of our region’s financial health.”

According to the study, the Air National Guard’s direct spending was about $51.9 million in the region, using an average of fiscal years 2014 and 2015, and including various inflation-adjusted figures. Of the $51.9 million, $46.6 million was for payroll and $5.3 million was for procurement of locally supplied goods.

“While the nearly $52 million represents direct spending, the overall economic impact of the Air National Guard in the metro area is nearly twice as high, consisting of a combination of the impacts created from purchases of locally supplied goods and services and payroll compensation for military personnel,” said study lead Dean A. Bangsund. “The presence of the Air Guard supports 764 FTE jobs, creates $63 million in personal income, contributes $97.1 million value-added activity and generates $93.4 million in gross business volume.”

In addition, the Air National Guard was estimated to generate $600,000 annually in property tax and local option sales tax collections. With 425 FTEs, the 119th Wing is a major employer, within the top 35 in the metro area.

“Recently the 119th Wing of the Air National Guard received its 17th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA) during a ceremony at the Air National Guard Base in Fargo,” Air Guard Commander Colonel Kent Olson said. “While we are proud of what we contribute to our nation’s defense, we are equally proud of what we contribute to the communities in which we live and work. While our mission has changed over the years, we are still here making major contributions to the region’s economic life.”

About The Chamber
The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of more than 2,100 private, public and non-profit member firms representing more than 98,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.

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