No. 6: San Antonio
- By David Hubler
- Nov 21, 2007
Although San Antonio is best-known for the ill-fated 19th-century battle at the
Alamo, the city has a vibrant and rapidly growing 21st-century military- and
The city recorded slightly more than 89,000 military and civilian contractor jobs
in 2006, a figure that is expected to soar in the coming years from Base
Realignment and Closure closings elsewhere. "There is an extraordinary influx of
people, construction [and] new groups coming into San Antonio," said Jim Poage,
president and chief executive officer of the San Antonio Technology Accelerator
Initiative, a nonprofit that helps find funding for local technology companies.
"Some of the last numbers I heard were [that] around 15,000 people would
be coming into San Antonio as a result of BRAC activity ? people with jobs," he
said. Their families would swell that number. "We're the seventh-largest city in
the U.S., so I don't think there'll be a problem absorbing that influx."
The Bureau of Economic Analysis placed 61,388 civilian and military jobs in
the area during 2005, the most recent year for which statistics were available
Central to San Antonio's military presence is the Brooke Army Medical Center.
The 450-bed health care facility houses the Army's Institute of Surgical
Research, which studies new treatments for trauma victims. The center also
serves the area's numerous military installations, including Camp Bullis, Camp
Stanley, Fort Sam Houston, and Lackland and Randolph Air Force bases.
In October, the city broke ground on a $47 million expansion of Brooks City
Base, a major center for the study of aerospace medicine formerly called Brooks
Air Force Base.
"This is a very military-friendly city but not one that I would characterize as a
military city," Poage said. "We have a lot of military presence ? and no doubt it's
a huge economic driver ? but that's not the major driver of San Antonio," he
said, citing the city's universities, AT&T's headquarters and the presence of key
units of Lockheed Martin Corp., Pratt and Whitney Corp.