Military spending in N.C. jumps by 10 percent

Posted July 26, 2010 3:15 p.m. EDT

— Military spending in North Carolina jumped by 10 percent in the 2008-09 fiscal year, topping $4 billion, state officials announced Monday.

“These numbers continue to indicate that North Carolina is becoming a very significant player in the global military and defense industry cluster,” Gov. Beverly Perdue said in a statement. “The state has made great strides to leverage expanding markets, capture federal revenues and grow jobs right here in North Carolina – the most military-friendly state in America.”

Perdue helped establish North Carolina Military Business Center within the North Carolina Community College System and launched the North Carolina Military Foundation to focus on building the state’s defense and homeland security economy.

Defense procurement in North Carolina increased from $3.65 billion in the 2007-08 fiscal year to $4.01 billion in fiscal 2008-09. Businesses in 86 of North Carolina’s 100 counties performed defense-related work in fiscal 2009, officials said.

“North Carolina is coming into its own in terms of growing its defense economy,” Lance DeSpain, director of the North Carolina Military Foundation, said in a statement. “The state is well positioned to seize on opportunities presented by emerging DOD needs.”

According to a 2008 state Department of Commerce study, the military has a $23.4 billion annual impact on the state economy.

“Defense spending in North Carolina is critical to expanding our economy and growing jobs in North Carolina,” Scott Dorney, executive director of the Military Business Center, said in a statement. “The defense and federal market is still booming. Although it is not easy, businesses across the state are competing and winning in the federal market.”