FAIRBANKS, Ak - Leaders of Interior–based Alaska Native Organizations today released an economic impact report that was two years in the making.
The report details the impact these organizations have local and state economies.
The heads of Fairbanks Native Association, Doyon Limited, Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Interior Regional Housing Authority came together today to give a unified voice to the release of their joint Economic Impact Report.
The study examined 2010 economic contributions by Native organizations to the Interior's and State's economy and found major contributions.
"We have a commitment to Interior Alaska, we're all headquartered in Fairbanks and we have that commitment to the local community, to be a part of it, to be a good partner with the Borough, with the businesses here, the military, all the people we support, both directly as employees, indirectly through the property taxes and all the other impacts," says Aaron Schutt, President and CEO of Doyon Limited.
$300 million dollars in direct economic impact in the Interior alone, including the generation of more than 3,500 jobs.
"Our employees are here to stay, the pay taxes, the shop in the local markets and I don't foresee anywhere where we'll want to go anywhere other than to be based out of Fairbanks," says Jerry Isaac, President of Tanana Chiefs Conference.
Alaska Native organizations lay claim to the fifth top Interior employer, behind the military, federal government UA system and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.
As for dwindling funding for not–for–profit Native organizations, leaders say living within their means has carried them through a difficult national economy.
"Despite our contribution to the economy here in Fairbanks, our villages are hurting. My hope is that our political leaders here in this community will begin to pay attention to those issues that affect our people in our villages. High cost of energy.... Economic development...” said Executive Director of Fairbanks Native Association, Steve Ginnis.
Statewide, 70 Alaska Native organizations, 42 tribes, 25 village corporations and several regional non–profits account for over 5,000 jobs, $216 million in payroll and $497 million in total spending.