A very rewarding part of my job as Chancellor is the opportunity to engage with the amazing people of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the large military base whose northern edge is merely 9 miles south of our campus.
JBLM is huge – the largest single-site employer in Washington State. UW Tacoma students in our M.S. Business Analytics program, working with our Center for Business Analytics, Dr. Haluk Demirkan and Dr. Margo Bergman, recently conducted an analysis of the economic impact the base on our region. They found the base serves a total of 102,000 people: 52,000 active-duty and civilian employees; 45,000 dependents and 32,000 retirees. The base injects upwards of $9.2 billion into the regional economy each year. Every year between 6,000 and 8,000 military service members based at JBLM transition to veteran status. About 40% of those stay in Washington.
Some of them become students at UW Tacoma – upwards of 20% of our enrollment have a military affiliation, whether active-duty, reservist, veteran, dependent or retiree.
The City of Tacoma has proclaimed this week to be Joint Base Lewis-McChord Week, in recognition of the impact of the base on our region, and we proudly join the City in celebrating the people of JBLM and all that they bring to our community.