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For release: 02/28/03
Release #: 03-034


Marshall Center boosts Alabama economy with $897 million in expenditures last year

The Marshall Center, a vital contributor to Alabama's economy, spent more than $897 million in the state in FY 2002, significantly more than in any other state. Since it was established in 1960, Marshall has had budget responsibility for more than $71 billion. When adjusted for inflation, that's equivalent to more than $176 billion in today's dollars.



NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., contributed $897 million to Alabama's economy in fiscal year 2002, significantly more than spending in any other state.

Included in the 2002 spending was $273 million in salaries for civil service personnel and related costs. In addition, Marshall civil service employees collectively paid about $32 million in federal income taxes and about $7 million in Alabama state income taxes in 2002. Some $624 million was spent on locally procured services, prime contractor and subcontractor support, and local construction.

Also during 2002, The Boeing Company spent approximately $85 million in NASA funding in North Alabama for International Space Station hardware development. Another $45 million was spent by the Marshall Center on NASA programs where Marshall had a supporting role, and another $9.5 million was spent on programs where Marshall performed work for other agencies.

Marshall received approximately 16.4 percent - or $2.4 billion - of NASA's total budget of $14.9 billion during fiscal 2002. By program areas, 57 percent was spent for Space Shuttle and Space Station activities and 43 percent was spent for Space Science, Earth Science, Aero-Space Technology, Biological & Physical Research, and Crosscutting Technology Programs.

Also in 2002, approximately $69 million in retirement annuities were paid to 2,381 Marshall retirees residing in Alabama. The 1,619 retirees in the cities of Huntsville and Madison received $47 million of that amount.

Since it was established in 1960, the Marshall Center has had budget responsibility for more than $71 billion. When adjusted for inflation, this total is equivalent to more than $176 billion in today's dollars. Also since its creation, the Marshall Center has paid a total of $5.4 billion in federal salaries.

At the end of September 2002, Marshall's permanent and temporary civil service employees totaled 2,713, including some employees at prime contractor facilities and at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans.

Of Marshall's workforce, 2,237 were college graduates, with 1,467 holding bachelor's degrees. There were 176 employees with doctorate degrees and 594 with master's degrees in the fields of engineering and science -- predominately mathematics and physics, as well as business administration and other disciplines.

During 2002, a total of 24,621 contractor personnel were engaged in work for the Marshall Center, including 3,264 in mission support, 10,696 on prime contract work and 10,661 as subcontractors and vendors. Of the total, 6,730 worked in Alabama. Additionally, 396 contractors were associated with International Space Station work being done by Boeing in Huntsville, and 652 jobs were related to other NASA work supported by Marshall.

Also during fiscal 2002, approximately 57,700 people visited Marshall, including educators, conference and symposium visitors and news media. Attendance at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center - Marshall's official NASA Visitor Center - was 332,214. In addition, Marshall's education programs reached more than 29,784 students and 22,604 teachers and faculty representing all 50 states during the year. The Marshall Center donated $884,284 in research equipment and made some $211 million in grants, contracts and cooperative agreements through its education programs.

Marshall's education program also recorded 427 partnerships and collaborations with other federal, state and local programs, professional societies, nonprofit organizations, industry and contractor communities, and with all levels of the educational community, but primarily secondary education.

Continuing its ongoing work in the community, Marshall employees and retirees volunteered last year to participate in the NASA Project LASER (Learning About Science, Engineering and Research) Program, serving locally as speakers, tutors, consultants and science fair judges. Marshall's Educator Resource Center also conducted 136 teacher workshops for 1,326 educators and provided 84,320 publications or other literature to the 6,895 educators who visited or wrote to the facility.

The Marshall Center gives back to the community through monthly Red Cross blood drives - collecting 1,156 pints of blood in fiscal 2002 from civil service and on-site contractors - and by contributing to the Combined Federal Campaign, which collected $573,844 in fiscal 2002, $316,857 of which was designated to help agencies in Alabama.

As Marshall marks its 43rd year in Alabama and looks to the future, the Center continues its role as a vital contributor to America's future in space - as well as to the economy of Huntsville and the state.

For more information:
News release


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Jerry Berg
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(256) 544-0034

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