Thursday, January 12, 2017

Report highlights INL's economic impacts for 2016

INL Director Mark Peters
Idaho National Laboratory has released the “INL Fiscal Year 2016 Economic Impact Summary,” which breaks down the total economic impact that INL operations have on Idaho’s economy. Not surprisingly, the impact is huge.

The report says the lab contributes a positive value of $1.9 billion to Idaho’s total economic output. This represents an increase of 20.4 percent, or nearly $324 million, between 2015 and 2016.

“As Idaho’s sixth largest private employer, we take great pride in Idaho National Laboratory being a major economic driver for our state,” INL Lab Director Mark Peters said. “We value our relationship with the state of Idaho and believe our continued collaboration is critical to the success of the laboratory in the coming years.”

The report can be found online here: https://www.inl.gov/inl-initiatives/economic-and-workforce-development/.

It includes the following highlights:

  • INL employs nearly 4,100 people, making it Idaho’s sixth largest private employer and 10th largest employer when compared to all public and private businesses. INL hired more than 480 employees in 2016 and increased its average salary to $92,660 annually, up from $88,635.
  • Secondary impacts in Idaho accounted for an additional 7,199 jobs for a total of 11,276 jobs – a 21.3 percent increase from the previous year.
  • In addition to purchasing goods and services, INL hosted significantly more visitors and held more events in 2016, resulting in positive economic benefit to the local hotel and restaurant industry.  
  • More than $874 million in economic output was generated through INL suppliers and employee household spending.
  • INL increased personal income in the state by $795 million.
  • Day-to-day management and operation of INL is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), which subcontracted more than $136 million to Idaho businesses.
  • BEA corporate offices contributed $623,454 to charitable giving, and the majority of those funds in Idaho are focused on education needs.
  • INL posted job and business volume gains primarily in its national homeland security and nuclear energy research divisions. Specific areas of expanded research include critical infrastructure, high-performance computing, cybersecurity, and small modular reactors. 

“In the foreseeable future we continue to see a need to hire more engineers and scientists – not only to support replacing those who retire but to support the growth of our laboratory,” Peters said. “It is critical we strengthen our partnering with subcontractors, educators and industry.”

To support its future growth, INL hosted a partnering event in December in Idaho Falls and will host a second event Jan. 17 in Boise. The event will showcase subcontracting needs, highlight grant opportunities, and share details on how to partner with INL employees and technology to conduct research and development. For more information on this event, go to https://partner.inl.gov/.

The annual summary was prepared by the Rexburg-based Research & Business Development Center.
The economic impacts identified in the report only include operations managed by BEA and do not include the impacts of the U.S. Department of Energy cleanup contractor, the DOE itself or the Naval Reactors Facility (which recently announced it was building a new, $1.6 Expanded Core Facility.)