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Friday, March 8, 2013 - 8:05pm
EL PASO — A new report shows that Ft. Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center (WBAMC), contribute nearly $6 billion dollars to the El Paso economy.
The study was requested by the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce and completed by the Institute for Policy and Economic Development at UTEP.
Fort Bliss and WBAMC employ more than 60,000 military and civilian employees combined, and paid more than $4-million in labor income. Some of that money will be pumped back into the El Paso economy.
Freedom Crossing on Fort Bliss employs more than 2,000 civilian employees. The shopping mall has several kiosk stands and food court restaurants that see large crowds daily.
Army Air Force Exchange Services General Manager Ray Emils said sales from Freedom Crossing contribute $1.4 billion into the El Paso economy. He said he is impressed with the strong relationship between El Paso and Ft. Bliss.
"That connections is as good as I have seen at any military installation in my 33 year career. It's very tightly knit between the installation, between the El Paso community," said Emils.
Rick Glancey, Armed Forces Chair of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce said it is important to continue to maintain that strong connection.
"El Paso should be proud of what it has accomplished with its advocacy efforts on behalf of Ft. Bliss and William Beaumont Army Medical Center," said Glancey.
Glancey said it is also important to advocate for more growth at Ft. Bliss. Glancey and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, along with Mayor John Cook and Fort Bliss officials will be in Washington D.C. next week to do just that. They will use the report to leverage against spending cuts at Ft. Bliss.