No. 22: Miami
- By David Hubler
- Nov 21, 2007
Think Miami, and beaches, palm trees and sun come to mind. But the city ?
including surrounding Miami-Dade County ? has the third-largest number of
Homeland Security Department employees in the nation, after Washington and
Miami has a large Transportation Security Administration presence because of
Miami International Airport, said Diana Gonzalez, coordinator of the Miami-Dade
Defense Alliance. "We have a sizable [Federal Aviation Administration] presence,
too, because of Miami and the other airports. At Homestead Air Reserve Base,
for example, the control tower people are [also] FAA employees."
Ranked at No. 22, Miami had 27,565 military and civilian jobs in 2005.
The Coast Guard, another DHS agency, is well-represented in Miami, too.
"Then, of course, you have Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, as well,"
The area also has a large military presence, which grew during the gradual
handover to Panama of the canal and its installations in the late 1980s and
1990s. In September 1997, the Southern Command, whose responsibilities
included Latin America and the Caribbean, moved from Ancon Hill, near Panama
City, to Miami.
The Miami-based command comprises more than 1,200 military and civilian
personnel from all service branches and several federal agencies. It is responsible
for defending the Panama Canal and surrounding areas and is also charged
with contingency planning, operations and security cooperation for Central and
South America, the Caribbean, Cuba, and the Bahamas.
In all, the local military presence is a $1 billion industry for Miami-Dade
County and accounts for more than 24,000 jobs, according to the Association of
Gonzalez said contractors should know that the military is only one facet of
Miami-Dade's diversified economy. "International trade is another big component,"
she said. "The things they would need to know are the major industries
that are there already, and how?they interconnect with the federal government."
David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.