Virginia's Aerospace Industry Economic Impact Study Completed
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell released today the results of a new study to measure the economic impact and value of Virginia's aerospace industry. "Virginia's Aerospace Industry: An Economic Impact Analysis," describes important contributions that the aerospace industry makes to the economy of Virginia and highlights areas of expected growth.
Speaking about the analysis, Governor McDonnell noted, "The aerospace industry plays a vital role in the economy of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a source of well paying, highly skilled jobs. As progress continues in this area, the entire Commonwealth will benefit. This study provides valuable information that will serve as a baseline to measure future growth."
The study is the first comprehensive economic study of Aerospace in Virginia and includes supplemental information on the contributions from Virginia's strong presence in aerospace military, education and tourism. It was sponsored by the Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV), and conducted by the Performance Management Group at Virginia Commonwealth University in partnership with Chmura Economics & Analytics. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) convened experts from all of Virginia's public universities and colleges and relevant state agencies to develop the Commonwealth Economic Impact Research Model which guided this study. It is one part of a three part analysis that will include an airport economic impact analysis and a workforce development study for aviation and aerospace.
The study identified that Virginia's aerospace industry contributed $7.6 billion per year to the economy of Virginia and supported 28,110 jobs in 2009 through direct impacts and ripple effects. Aerospace directly employed 9,029 workers and created $4.3 billion in annual economic output in 2009. The study noted that aerospace workers are highly skilled and highly productive and are paid higher wages than the average in Virginia.
Virginia is home to the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport, one of four spaceports in the nation. It will begin commercial operations to the International Space Station from the Wallops Island Flight Facility beginning in 2011. The Commonwealth is also fortunate to have facilities such as NASA Langley and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility which have a long history of supporting and advancing the aerospace industry. In addition, Virginia has three public universities; Old Dominion University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech), and University of Virginia, that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in aerospace-related fields. Virginia's cooperative legislative and economic policies and practices, aided by its competitive workforce, have been driving forces behind an increase in the presence and investments of private aerospace firms to the Commonwealth at a time when many mature industries are declining both nationally and in the state. Because Virginia has four times the concentration of space research and technology industry employment, when compared to the national average, it holds a clear, competitive advantage compared with other states in the nation.
*The study can be downloaded from the Department of Aviation's Website at www.doav.virginia.gov
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