By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community
There has long been a military presence in the southwestern area of Indiana, which consists of Naval Support Activity Crane, (NSA Crane), the nation’s third-largest naval base. Since 1941, Crane has heeded the call of the United States of America by serving our nation’s Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.
Over that time Crane has evolved from its early beginnings focused on the production of munitions and flares, to a regional hub of advanced technology focused on some of our nation’s most pressing technology needs.
Recently, Radius had the opportunity to assess the annual economic impact of Crane for 2017. Its impact is nothing short of incredible, if evidenced only by the $406.4 million Crane pays to its civilian and contractor employees.
That nearly half a billion is injected into our region, with the economic multiplier effect of that certainly exceeding $1 billion. That $406.4 million is paid to a 5500-strong workforce who own homes, rent apartments, buy cars, shop and dine, along with their families.
Monroe County is loaded with 1359 Crane workers, accounting for $107.3 million in direct impact. An additional 412 jobs are created to support those employees, totaling 1,771 jobs with a $283 million economic impact.
With 1,073 workers located in Lawrence County, there is an impact of $79.5 million, a further benefit of 274 jobs, which help produce a complete effect of 1347 jobs and $199 million in economic activity.
Crane’s economic impact goes beyond its civilian and contractor payroll. While we didn’t have all the local supplies and various public works contracts available for analysis, it is notable that over 6,100 contracts at one command exceeded $1.1 billion in awards. When you add it all up, Crane generated over $2.1 billion in impact, for just one year.
We hope that the workforce will continue to grow in the coming years. Today Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane’s civilian workforce stands 3,255 strong, larger than at any point in the past three decades. With over 900 employees becoming eligible for retirement in the next five years, we believe there will be many new opportunities for the community. Our region needs to ensure there is a workforce available to replace those retiring in the coming years.
This helps put in perspective why anytime Crane has faced potential threats of closure through the Base Realignment and Closure Commission the community has rallied and fought to ensure Crane’s survival. Ultimately, Crane has been able to avoid an economically catastrophic closure because of the quality and importance of the work it does. Much of the credit goes to the men and women who work together to ensure Crane fulfills its vital missions.