The economic impact of the military in Illinois

March  31, 2014

      Researchers at Northern Illinois University will conduct a study on the impact military bases have on Illinois' economy. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation has hired the Center for Governmental Studies at NIU to collect data that it will use to protect military bases in the face of federal budget cuts and base closures. 

      Brian Richard, assistant director of the center, says the study will include major installations such as the Rock Island Arsenal, Scott Air Force Base, and the Great Lakes Naval Station.  "But we'll also look at the National Guard activities that there's federal funds flowing in to support, and that is really spread out across the state in dozens of different National Guard armories," Richard says. 

      Although the study will focus on job creation and revenue, it will also survey local leaders. "We're going to go meet with the leadership of each major base. We're going to meet with some community leaders in the communities surrounding the bases, just looking at what the benefits outside of those basic economic benefits that the bases provide to the communities." 

      The study should be completed by the fall.