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Joint Base Charleston commander: Teamwork is key in strengthening regional economy

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Between the different bases and related businesses, the military is the largest employer in the Lowcountry, and that means it’s important for it and local governments and other groups to work together, the commander of Joint Base Charleston told local business leaders Tuesday.

Speaking during a luncheon Tuesday, Col. Marc Greene, the commander of Joint Base Charleston, said what’s good for the base is good for the region and vice versa.

He highlighted a number of areas where partnerships between the base and others have benefitted the region, including an improvement in outside military spouse employment in recent years.

But there are still areas that could be improved on, he said.

Despite the number of bases, Greene said data shows the region isn’t necessarily the best spot for retiring from the military, in part because of rising home prices.

Keeping people in the region even after they leave the military provides other economic benefits, he said.

“We are inherently connected with the private and public sectors of the Lowcountry and so that partnership is key to what we do,” Greene said.

Around one-fifth of jobs in the Lowcountry are tied to the military community.

Growth elsewhere could also have an impact on the military. Greene said for example growth at the South Carolina Ports could lead to the U.S. government increasing its investment in the Coast Guard in the region.

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