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San Diego’s Military Building Boom Winding Down

Aired 6/21/12 on KPBS News.

A military construction boom is winding down in San Diego, and thousands of highly paid construction jobs are being phased out.

A military construction boom is winding down in San Diego, and thousands of highly paid construction jobs are being phased out.

New barracks and a new dining hall, part of the construction boom on Camp Pendleton that is now coming to an end.
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Above: New barracks and a new dining hall, part of the construction boom on Camp Pendleton that is now coming to an end.

At its height in 2011, the construction boom on military bases around San Diego County created more than 16,000 jobs, many of them engineers and contractors earning around $70,000 a year.

Now, Brigadier General Vincent Coglianese, commander of Marine Corps West, said the contracts are finishing up.

“We replaced buildings that were here since World War II,” he said. “We’ve spent, in the last seven years, about $6.7 billion in military construction for Marine Corps Installations West. That surge in construction is going to be drastically reduced. Next year we’re talking in the millions not the billions – a pretty drastic change.”

About a thousand people are still working on a new $500 million hospital on Camp Pendleton. The money came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Civilian construction jobs in San Diego County have fallen from about 90,000 six years ago before the recession to about 55,000 now.

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