UWF Haas Center analyzes regional needs
Understanding the local economy is critical to economic growth and vitality. That's where the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, a part of the University of West Florida College of Business, comes in handy. The Haas Center collects, analyzes and distributes information about the Northwest Florida region and provides basic data services to the public for business development.
Understanding the local economy is critical to economic growth and vitality. That’s where the Haas Center for Business Research and Economic Development, a part of the University of West Florida College of Business, comes in handy. The Haas Center collects, analyzes and distributes information about the Northwest Florida region and provides basic data services to the public for business development.
“The Haas Center is the premier source for information about the Northwest Florida economy and people,” said Rick Harper, director of the Haas Center. “The center is a leading resource for social, economic and demographic information for the region and has conducted numerous feasibility, economic impact, target industry and business activity studies relating to tourism, military and other sectors of the economy, as well as survey research and geographic information systems mapping projects.”
Currently, the Haas Center is leading an effort to analyze how the use of the airspace associated with the Gulf Regional Airspace Strategic Initiative interacts with the regional economy (including Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington Counties). The initiative is aimed at optimizing the use of airspace in the greater Northwest Florida region in an effort to improve the flow of military and commercial traffic around Eglin Air Force Base-the world’s largest Air Force base.
“Aviation, both civilian and military, plays a vital role in the regional economy,” said Rod Lewis, a research analyst at the Haas Center who is leading the effort. “The military is highly dependent on the use of the region’s airspace to accomplish training missions. The civil aviation sector is highly dependent on the use of much of that same airspace to effectively and efficiently move people and goods into and out of the region. To the extent that these two sectors of the economy interact, then increased demands in one sector will necessarily have an impact on the other sector.”
Included in the Haas Center projections are the military realignments as a function of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). The Haas Center estimates that the total economic impact (including direct, indirect and induced impacts) of these actions across the region will result in 5,072 additional jobs and increase the gross regional product (GRP) by $469.1 million by 2016.
Other Haas Center projects also examine the role of the military in the regional economy. As part of the Eglin Growth Management project, Haas Center researchers are projecting likely changes in housing, education and infrastructure needs in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton Counties due to the BRAC influx. Several current Haas Center projects examine other economic sectors on either a statewide or regional basis. Haas Center researchers recently delivered a report examining the film and entertainment industry in Florida and will shortly begin a project looking at the economic effects of the library system in counties across the state.
To learn more about the effects of the Gulf Regional Airspace Strategic Initiative on the regional economy, contact Lewis at (850) 510-0771 or e-mail email@example.com. To learn more about the Haas Center, visit haas.uwf.edu/index.html.
Written by Lauren Smith, University Marketing Communications