Despite job losses, base's economic impact on region increases

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 05:06 PM.

Cherry Point released its annual economic impact report this week, showing a decline in overall workforce but an increase in overall impact.

The report lists the total workforce at the Marine Corps air station for fiscal year 2012 as 14,693, which includes civilian and military personnel. In 2011, the total workforce was 14,915.

Still, the overall economic impact the base had on the region increased from 2.05 billion in 2011 to almost $2.20 billion in 2012.

"I think any time that we have tangible evidence of the economic impact that MCAS Cherry Point makes, not only in the Havelock community but in the entire eastern region, it is a significant deal," said Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce. "It makes a very big impact on the community members who sometimes just take it for granted."

She said the numbers prove that the base is a valuable economic asset that the entire region can’t afford to lose.

"In President Obama’s budget proposal, he does propose a BRAC for 2015, and we cannot afford as a community — not just in Craven County but in all the surrounding those surrounding counties — we cannot afford to lose that $2.2 billion dollar impact," she said. "We need to do whatever we can to protect it and work together and not work against one another to ensure its sustainability."

Included in the report was a statement from Col. Philip J. Zimmerman, commanding officer of Cherry Point.

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