Stefanik lauds $1.5 billion economic impact of Fort Drum on North Country region


WATERTOWN — According to its recently released economic impact report, Fort Drum pumped nearly $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2021 into the regional economy of the North Country, a 4.6% increase from the prior fiscal year.

According to the report, the increase was “primarily due to a 3% increase in payroll for Fort Drum Soldiers and a 2.7% increase for civilians, who received a cost of living increase at the beginning of 2021.”

Fort Drum has more than 30,000 soldiers and family members. In addition, there are 3,912 civilians working on the installation in support of 10th Mountain Division soldiers and families, the report said, adding that more than 19,000 military retirees and their dependents also live in the North Country.

The report identifies Fort Drum as the largest employer in northern New York with 15,656 soldiers and the 3,912 civilians (including contractors) working on or near the installation. Military and civilian payrolls (including tenants and contractors) totaled $1.1 billion. In 2021, Fort Drum was responsible for, or supported, nearly one-fourth of all jobs in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties, according to a statement by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-21, Schuylerville, following the release of the economic impact report.

“The economic impact of Fort Drum shows the critical role it plays for the North Country, which is why, as the chief advocate for Fort Drum in Congress, I fight to deliver millions of dollars each year to support its important work,” Stefanik said. “I look forward to continuing to deliver results for Fort Drum, our military families, and New York’s 21st District that create this kind of lasting impact.”

The economic impact analysis for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Rome Research Laboratory — known locally as Rome Lab — for 2021 has not yet been released. The economic impact of Rome Lab for fiscal year 2020 estimated the total annual economic impact to be $501 million. That figure was a $34 million increase (7.4%) from the previous fiscal year. Rome Lab is located on the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome.