From the Baltimore Sun; Relayed Via a Tweet from Cecil Times —-
The long-anticipated BRAC boom — the new jobs, offices and ripple economic effects — are finally on the way. The Army will transfer nearly 1,500 jobs to Aberdeen Proving Ground in August and September, according to the state. That would nearly double the number that have moved to Harford County because of the national military base realignment and closure process, or BRAC, announced in 2005. Thousands more jobs, many of them unfilled, are expected to follow.
Government contractors are gearing up, too. Offices are opening in Harford County at a fast clip — three dozen during the past year. Others are expanding. Defense contractor ManTech International Corp. is leasing half of a building now under construction in Belcamp, with plans to bring 300 to 500 tech jobs there by 2013 on top of the 50 it has now in Harford County. “It’s a real boom situation at a time when there’s not a lot of boom in most places,” said George Mercer, the proving ground’s public affairs officer. That surge will continue into next year, when the BRAC effort is expected to send thousands of jobs to Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County. About 300 workers already have relocated to the base.
The largest agency moving there will transfer 150 to 200 jobs a week from January through July, according to the county. By the end of next summer, the two Baltimore-area bases will have 14,000 BRAC-related government jobs and embedded contractors, local officials say. About 12,000 of those are still to come. Also expected over several more years are as many as 20,000 off-base contractor jobs and thousands more spinoff jobs as shops, day care centers and other service businesses open to meet the new demand. BRAC is not only expected to bring newcomers to town, as workers relocate with the jobs they’ve been performing elsewhere, but the effort also will yield job openings. That is expected to help other sectors — construction of new offices and homes, for instance — though the extent of that economic boost is under debate.