Community Hears Rundown Of Fort Drum's Economic Impact

Community Hears Rundown Of Fort Drum's Economic Impact

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Community members learned about the huge economic impact Fort Drum has on the north country.

The deputy CEO of Jefferson County Economic Development and Fort Drum commander Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt presented the post's estimated economic impact Wednesday morning at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce's annual Economic Forecast Breakfast.

According to the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization's (FDRLO) latest numbers, Fort Drum contributed a total of $1.7 billion in 2017 to the economies of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. 

This accounted for about 12 percent of the region's gross domestic product.  

But the general says the economic impact of Fort Drum's training area is immeasurable.

"But for me the real impact is that I've got to build readiness," he said, "and having ready formations and having the 10th Mountain Division ready and other services come here so they can build readiness to accomplish their mission, it makes Fort Drum more valuable than any dollar figure you can put on it."

The economic model used in the FDRLO's report estimates that there are nearly 25,000 Fort Drum-related jobs, which account for 22 percent of the total jobs in the region. 

Piatt is deploying to Iraq next week with other members of the 10th Mountain Division to help Iraqi forces following their defeat of ISIS in their country.

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