How can a region leverage the expansion of a local military base for its economic development? This question was asked of EDR Group by the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) concerning the major expansion scheduled for Fort Drum in upstate New York. The answer is to look strategically at local assets and the nature of military procurement for a strategy to boost the overall economic base of the region. Through targeted business attraction, coordinated land use polices and tailored educational programs, a region can aim for long term economic growth.
The FDRLO represents three New York Counties, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence that are collectively known as the North Country. EDR Group's investigation explored and identified ways to improve the quality of jobs in the North County through targeted business attraction on the heels of the base expansion. The report, North Country Business and Resources Gap Analysis, identified leveraging opportunities associated with the interaction of national changes in military procurement policies and technology, with regional changes in the size of Fort Drum and economic development assets in the three county region.
Emerging from this analysis, the study identified and ranked promising target sectors that matched military spending trends, the nature of the expansion at Fort Drum, the region's labor force and other local assets. Working with the FDRLO, the EDR Group team went beyond suggesting sectors as economic development and proposed an implementation plan that spells out the specific actions that can be taken to increase the probability of success.
The study received extensive coverage in local newspapers and TV channels.