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GMD System Pumps $246 Million Into Alaskan Economy in 2007

By | November 17, 2008

      The Boeing Co. [BA], through its work on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, added more than $246 million to the Alaska economy last year, Boeing announced.

      GMD includes interceptors installed in ground silos in Alaska and California.

      That program also supported more than 700 direct and indirect jobs in Alaska, according to a University of Alaska Fairbanks study that Boeing sponsored.

      The study found the average Boeing GMD worker in 2007 earned approximately 1.7 times the average Alaska wage.

      Many of the GMD jobs are in remote areas, involve native Alaskan businesses and provide "significant benefits" to the communities in which they are located, the study stated.

      It looked at payroll, non-payroll purchases and expenditures, and vendor commitments to determine the overall impact of Boeing missile defense work in the state. Major economic impacts for 2007 include:

      • A $52 million payroll
      • Some $72 million in Alaska household earnings
      • A total $9.6 million in state and local government tax revenue

      Hans Geier, an economics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who led the study, said the GMD program has provided many high-paying jobs in both rural and urban areas of Alaska.

      "Of particular interest is the effect in rural areas of Alaska, where the economic activity stimulated by Boeing has offered stable, high-paying employment for residents whose options are very limited," Geier wrote in his report. "This has allowed many families to remain in these local and rural communities, supporting property values, preserving indigenous businesses, local governments and other services."

      The School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks conducted the study on Boeing’s behalf.

      Boeing is the prime contractor for GMD, the central element of the Missile Defense Agency overall layered ballistic missile defense architecture. Boeing GMD activity occurs in four areas of Alaska: Fort Greely, which hosts the largest GMD interceptor site, along with Adak, Kodiak and Shemya.

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