The Defense Industry's Economic Impact on the Charlottesville Region

A study has revealed that the defense sector is a major contributor to the local economy

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce's Defense Affairs Committee has recently published the findings of a study commissioned by the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center that explores the economic and societal impacts of the defense industry in Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, and Greene County.

According to the study, the defense sector is the second most significant contributor to the economy in the region, following the University of Virginia, with an annual impact of slightly over $1.2 billion.

The Defense Industry's Economic Impact on the Charlottesville Region, authored by Dr. Terance J. Rephann, provides a comprehensive overview of the region's defense industry, covering its history, size, growth, features, and economic contributions in 2021. Albemarle County, the City of Charlottesville, and the UVA Foundation funded the study.

The study encompassed several major entities and components that account for Department of Defense and military spending in the region, including Rivanna Station, the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School, private and non-profit organizations holding Department of Defense contracts, veterans, and Reserve and National Guard components. The study also examined the Department of Defense's involvement with the University of Virginia, which includes contracts, grants, defense research, ROTC, government-sponsored active-duty students attending UVA, and University start-ups initially backed by the Department of Defense.

Rivanna Station, a sub-installation of Fort Belvoir located less than a mile from North Fork, was found to have the most significant economic impact on the region, accounting for 52% of the overall annual figure.