Chamber’s annual Redstone Update highlights important work taking place on Redstone Arsenal

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- More than 700 people gathered at the Von Braun Center Thursday morning to learn more about the happenings going on with the economic engine that powers half of our community: Redstone Arsenal.

The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce puts on this annual event to bring together community leaders and citizens with commands and agencies on the arsenal. All because the best way to build partnerships is by exchanging information.

"They need to know what's on the minds of senior leaders on the arsenal, they need to know what their priorities are, they need to know what their problems are," said John Nerger, senior military advisor to the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

In many cases, business opportunities are about solving those problems. That's why businesses of all kinds come to learn about current projects on the arsenal, even real estate.

"Redstone Arsenal is why 95 percent of all the people in Madison County is here," said commercial real estate agent Russ Russell. "They are our economy. And while I'm not a defense contractor, in commercial real estate, we help defense contractors with their space."

And as far as any big changes, sometimes no news is good news. That means there is stability.

"We don't see significant changes in employment, so we see relative stability, the challenges and the priorities are similar, but they're going to be sustained over an extended period of time," Nerger said.

Stability makes for better planning, which in turn, creates a better economy.

The update included panels on Space Operations and Missile Defense, FBI Intelligence, Logistics, and Research & Development-- all happening on the arsenal, and making international impacts.

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