Stennis Space Center Continues To Pump More Money Into Coast Economy

Four new projects announced in the last year will bring thousands of new, high-tech jobs to the Stennis Space Center. They also add to the center's $438 million economic impact within a 50 mile radius. That's $33 million more than last year. The numbers prove Stennis's economic importance.

Stennis puts nearly 4,600 people to work. Officials at Stennis say that if the center had not been in business last year, there would be more than 2,400 fewer jobs in the surrounding area. They also say that personal income would be reduced by $807 million and there would be a $323 million loss in retail sales.

"Let me sum it up by saying NASA activities are going on vigorously and strong as they have been in the past," Stennis Director Roy Estess said. "We're spending on the order of $40 to $50 million this year on expanding and new test facilities."

In making the economic presentation, Estess's assistant says the last five or six years have been much more upbeat for Stennis, especially after the Army Ammo plant closed. In its place, Boeing is investing $60 million into a rocket engine assembly plant, and that means things are looking up.

"The growth lines today and since 1994 actually not only tend to but definitely do go north and as Mr. Estess mentioned earlier in his remarks for the foreseeable future, although there are no guarantees of course we see that line in a continuing northward trend," Jon Roth with Stennis Space Center said.

That's a trend that Stennis officials expect will keep people on the job and millions of dollars flowing into the coast economy.