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SMSU’s economic impact on the region, state

March 30, 2013
By Ron Wood - SMSU interim president , Marshall Independent

Southwest Minnesota State University Economic Impact on the Region and State

Periodically the Minnesota State College and University System commissions a study to determine the economic impact of the 31 institutions around the state, one such study was just completed by Wilder Research based on the 2010-11 academic year.

Much of the information mentioned here is based on their report. As we go about our day to day life we think of the University in no special way, yet if we were to think of what the Marshall area would be without the University it translates into a different story line.

We should consider how the University's day to day operations impact the region. It is easy to see how the spending by the University and our students creates economic value directly through income spent, employment opportunities and tax revenues to the state.

What is less understood is what we call the multiplier effect of this spending, i.e. that each dollar goes through a cycle of being spent over and over only being reduced by savings and leakages of money to places outside of our region. Currently the SMSU multiplier would be about 3 or said differently for every $1 spent the University generates approximately $3 in the region.

Finally, the University is a major factor in increasing the productivity of private and public organizations within the region by providing highly trained graduates.

Currently 98 percent of our graduates are employed within the first year after graduation with 91 percent being in their field or related field. (This does not include students going on to graduate school)

Translating the above into numbers it is estimated that the $47.3 million of operational expenses had approximately a $141 million dollar direct and indirect economic impact on the region.

From an employment perspective it is estimated that the University and students annually generate an estimated 1,898 jobs directly and indirectly within the region. With 748 graduates in 2011 it is also estimated that the enhanced productivity is equivalent to $185 million of future value in the state. One final note is that the approximately 12 million dollars in state support of SMSU returns over 8 million dollars in state and local tax revenue through the University's presence in the region.

The bottom line is it is estimated that Southwest Minnesota State University is directly or indirectly impacting 3% of all of economic activity in the southwest region of Minnesota. Thus a strong and healthy University is one of many keys to keeping our community and region economically viable. We believe that the partnerships that have been forged within the region both public and private insure the long term success of the University.

The last year has seen growth of the University not only in enrollment numbers but programs that will enhance the quality of life in the region and the economic prosperity of those who live within the region. We look to the future with great expectations for the community and the University because of new and growing programs such as Agriculture, Culinology, Exercise Science and Nursing.

 
 

 

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