Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement in a press release Monday, based on the findings of a study by the state’s comptroller of public accounts on the influence of military bases in the Lone Star State in 2019.
“Not only are these military installations critical for the defense of our nation, they support more than 630,000 jobs in communities across this great state and are a key driver of the Texas economy,” Abbott said. “Now more than ever, these jobs add critical stability for communities focused on economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The state’s 15 military installations, along with the Army Futures Command in Austin, directly employ more than 225,000 people, according to the study, but indirect employment ratchets that number up above 630,000.
“The military installations in Texas are a vital contribution to our strategic national defense and provide a significant economic impact on the entire state economy,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “In most cases these bases and the men and women who work there are the lifeblood of their communities — supporting local businesses, buying homes and creating the fabric of their neighborhoods.”
The analysis looked at military personnel, civilian employees, contractors and their dependents, among other factors. It came at the behest of the governor’s Texas Military Preparedness Commission, which advises the state government on military issues and aims to prepare for any potential future impacts from the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions.
The largest impact came from Joint Base San Antonio, with 210,998 direct and indirect jobs, along with a $41 billion economic impact.
Fort Hood supports another 150,000 jobs and nearly $30 billion. Officials at that base have been urgently searching for missing Pvt. 1st Class Vanessa Guillen, who vanished on April 22.
Investigators last week found the skeletal remains of Pvt. 2nd Class Gregory Wedel-Morales, who disappeared from the same Army facility last year. They suspect foul play in that case.
Texas, like other states, saw a toll on its economy amid the coronavirus outbreak, which led to wide-ranging closures and other restrictions on business operations.
As the state began its incremental reopening, officials there reported a new spike in cases, which Abbott called “unacceptable” Monday night.
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