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Updates from the SRSCRO
August 2017
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2017 SRS Economic Impact Study

The operations at Savannah River Site (SRS) create jobs, generate income, and contribute to the tax revenues across the SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) region. According to the recent Economic Impact Study released by the SRSCRO, SRS generated an economic impact of roughly $2.4 billion per year in the regional economy in 2016.

The five-county region studied includes Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties in South Carolina, and Columbia and Richmond Counties in Georgia.  These counties were chosen because this is the area which comprises the SRSCRO's major area of influence as the DOE-designated Community Reuse Organization for the Savannah River Site. 

SRS employed 8,566 residents of the five-county region in 2016 (over 80 percent of the Site's total workforce).  The average job at SRS pays approximately 2.3 times the regional average. The projected impact of a 1,000 job loss or gain at SRS would be a total regional job impact of 1,700, and a loss or gain of $200 million in output.

In addition to measuring the economic impact of SRS, the analysis estimates the consequences of the potential impact of future job fluctuations and future workforce transition, and adds research to identify how communities in the region can prepare for anticipated changes in the makeup of the SRS workforce. A large segment of the report highlights broader implications for the five-county communities of a "next generation workforce."  Implications "where further investments may be needed" include single family housing and rental property inventory; educational programming to attract new residents; and "quality of place" projects to complement existing community amenities. 

Beyond the present day economic impact, the study highlights the ramifications of an ongoing SRS workforce transition.  The average age of a Site employee is near 50, and a large portion of the Site workforce will be eligible for retirement in three to five years.  One scenario in the report looks at a retirement estimate of 25 to 35 percent of the current workforce, the economic impacts of those estimates based upon the earnings of the future workforce, and the economic behavior of the new retiree population.  Although the economic impact of this transition is uncertain, there is no doubt the influx of new residents from the SRS workforce transition and from Fort Gordon will influence the local housing markets, education systems, and quality of place.

The study was prepared by TIP Strategies, an economic development consulting firm with offices in Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington.  The firm partnered with Simon Medcalfe, Associate Professor of Finance at Augusta University's Hull College of Business.

Copy of the SRS Economic Impact Study - Full Report

Copy of the SRS Economic Impact Study - Summary
In This Issue
Highlights of
SRS Economic Impact Study
1.  Estimated employment at Fort Gordon is approximately 26,000, and about 11,000 at SRS. Thus, the federal government is responsible for about 37,000 jobs in the five-county region. By comparison, the healthcare and social assistance sector employs just over 30,000, the retail sector employs 25,000, and the educational services sector employs 25,000. The manufacturing sector employs just under 20,000.

2.  The median hourly wage for the region is $18.47, which is higher than the SC average but lower than the GA average. The US median wage is $20.78. For certain occupations related to SRS, the median hourly wage is significantly higher.

3.  For SRS overall, wages constituted 51 percent of total expenditures, with fringe benefits accounting for 19 percent. Of the SRS workforce, over 80 percent live within the five-county area.

4.  Outside of the federal government, the fastest growing employment sectors in the region over the last five years were lodging, restaurants, and bars; healthcare and social assistance; and retail trade. The sectors that have lost the largest number of jobs over the last five years are educational services and construction.

5.  SRS also contributes to the local economy by a mechanism known as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), which are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. The Payments in Lieu of Taxes in FY 2017 were $1,620,000 to Aiken County, $4,765,868 to Barnwell County, and $89,508 to Allendale County for a total of $6.5 million.

6.  For Baby Boomers, the most important criteria for choosing where to live in retirement are: 1) affordable cost of living, 2) nearby family and friends, 3) good weather, 4) low crime rate, and 5) access to excellent healthcare and hospitals. That being said, only 4 percent of people 65 and older move, and many more are choosing to remodel their homes so they can age in place.

Upcoming Events

The 2017 SRSCRO meeting schedule is available at 
Closing Thoughts

"I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves."
-- Bruce Grocott

"Nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else." -- George Halas

"The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom."
-- H. L. Mencken

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. -- Mark Twain

In youth we learn; in age we understand. -- Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

"Without labor nothing prospers." - Sophocles

"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers." -- Alfred Lord Tennyson

"If you count all your assets you always show a profit." -- Wilson Mizner

Contact Information
SRSCRO, PO Box 696, Aiken, SC 29802   Like us on Facebook
Rick McLeod - President/CEO - 803-508-7402
Mindy Mets - NWI® Program Manager - 803-508-7403
Amy Merry - Administrative & Business Manager - 803-508-7401
Kim Saxon - Assistant Coordinator - 803-508-7656
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