Since the start of WW2 Fairbanks has been a “Military Town”. Today our Military Industry generates 11,552 jobs (20% of all jobs in Fairbanks) through direct, indirect and induced local spending. These jobs pay an annual average of $ 72,000 (4th highest among all sectors); they equal 38% of all wages, salary and benefit payments in Fairbanks. The Military Industry is by far the largest contributor to the Fairbanks economy and FEDC supports and coordinates the Borough and Cities efforts to sustain and grow this industry.
One of the Fairbanks competitive advantages is the strong military presence in the area. Defense operations bring approximately $1.2 Billion into the Fairbanks economy. These dollars are used for compensating soldiers and civilians on base (salaries, wages, allowances, and benefits) as well as local contracts and suppliers, and other local expenditures. Through this inflow of money into our local economy, an additional $2.7 Billion in sales (revenue), and a total of $3.9 Billion are generated. That $3.9 Billion represents 27% of all sales (revenue) in our economy and is directly attributable to the existence of Eielson AFB and Ft. Wainwright.
The Defense operations are the major driver of job creation in the Interior. Through the money our two Military bases bring into our local economy, almost 16,000 Jobs are generated directly and indirectly in Fairbanks. The operations at Eielson Air Force Base create 4,300 Jobs (part- and full time). Ft. Wainwright produces a total of 11,581 jobs in the community. For every $1 Million Dollars the bases bring (spend in) into Fairbanks 4 additional Jobs are created. A total of 30% of all jobs and 38% of all payroll can be associated with the presence of the Military in Fairbanks.
Eielson AFB, $308 Million (10%), and Ft. Wainwright, $830 Million (28%), are two major drivers for generating labor income paid to Fairbanks residents. The Dollars our Military bases, together bring into our local economy have spin off effects that create $1.1 billion in wages, salaries, income to proprietors, and benefit payments for 16,000 part and full time jobs. The quality of these jobs is reflected in their above average pay. The resulting average annual pay for a job created through the presence of the Military in Fairbanks is approximately 72,000* (fourth among all industries). A total of 38% of the value of labor income paid to employees and proprietors in our community is produced by the impacts of defense operations at Eielson and FtWW.
The Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation serves as one of Fairbanks’ liaisons and advocates for promoting development both on and around military installations in Interior Alaska. Previous rounds of military base closures, the continuing change in defense policy, and forced restructuring have provided the Fairbanks North Star Borough with tremendous opportunities to leverage available assets at local military installations for economic development purposes. FEDC works with the various military bases, GFCC, private businesses, community groups, and other government entities to facilitate military economic development initiatives.