Columbia, S.C. — As Fort Jackson prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the staple in the Midlands community also celebrates its major impact to the state’s economy.
According to the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the base brings in about $2.3 billion to the local economy. The military post also accounts for about 7,600 jobs, both civilian and military, with a collective payroll of about $553 million.
Fort Jackson was formally established in 1917, with Columbia being chosen because of its close proximity to the water, where horses could access.
Ryan Coleman, Director of Economic Development with the City of Columbia, says the fort also brings in revenue indirectly, with over 225,000 family and loved ones visiting military personnel each year. This has majorly impacted the business of local hotels, shops, restaurants, and so forth, and has helped shaped Columbia’s commercial success.
“We’ve had companies that come and look at the Columbia area and they’re interested in hiring people out of the military because they know they’ve got leadership skills, good work force qualities, that they’re disciplined, they’re reliable, that they can do things such as show up to work on time and do the work that they need to do,” said Coleman. “That’s a very positive thing to have in the community when outsiders are looking in.”
Fort Jackson plans to celebrate its centennial on Saturday, June 2nd, at Hilton Field.