US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

Regional Economic System

The Civil Works Regional Economic System (RECONS) Program is a regional economic impact modeling tool that was developed to provide accurate and defendable estimates of regional economic impacts associated with USACE spending.  It can be utilized to track progress and justify continued operation, maintenance and construction work performed by the Corps. The RECONS model development was funded under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). RECONS is the only USACE certified Regional Economic Development (RED) model for agency wide use.

This modeling tool automates calculations and generates estimates of jobs and other economic measures such as income and sales associated with USACE’s ARRA spending and annual Civil Work program spending, as well as that stemming from effects of additional economic activities associated with USACE’s core programs (such as water transportation, tourism spending,  etc).

While RECONS incorporates impact area data, as well as multipliers, direct ratios (jobs to sales, income to sales, etc), and geographic capture rates that were extracted from the IMPLAN models performed for different USACE projects, RECONS provides a number of significant advantages over performing unique analyses using IMPLAN software.  The greatest advantage is that it makes it more likely that economic impact analyses are performed in a consistent and comparable fashion across the nation.

RECONS was designed with four primary purposes in mind to: 

  • Provide a more convenient and consistent way to conduct economic impact analyses including the effects of either increased and decreased expenditures by the USACE  (e.g., Civil Works spending by projects, business lines)
  • Enable users to conduct valid and reliable economic impact analyses without having the degree of knowledge or experience of Input-Output analysis required by IMPLAN or other comprehensive I-O models
  • Enable users to simultaneously estimate economic impacts at different geographic scopes (e.g., local, state, national) and to aggregate impacts across projects,  districts and divisions
  • Increase rigor and consistency (e.g., spending profiles, identification of impact areas) in the manner in which economic impact analyses are conducted by the USACE.

A primary advantage to RECONS is that it provides users with convenient access to 1500 different economic impact models that specifically built for USACE’s project locations.  RECONS also provides users a conveniently efficient way to navigate, recall and adjust any of the 1500 models.  The different RECONS components (e.g., multipliers, margins, spending profiles) can be easily updated on a regular basis.   Additional models can also be added to accommodate new project locations, functions or changes in the USACE business lines and work activities.

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