winonawallWinona State University today released the results of a study that estimates the economic impact of WSU on the regional economy to be $307 million and 3,875 jobs.

“This study helps us understand the depth and breadth of Winona State’s contributions to the regional and state economies,” said Scott Olson, WSU president. “Our operations and the economic activity generated by our faculty, staff, and students touch virtually every corner of our regional economy, and support local business and industry.”

The study was conducted by Wilder Research, a nationally recognized source of data used by state and local planners, policy makers and service providers. The complete report can be found online.

This report estimates the economic impact of Winona State University on the South East region. Through its daily activities, the university generates economic value for the region in several ways. First, spending by the university and its students directly impacts the personal income, employment, and tax revenues of the state. Secondly, these expenditures generate an indirect effect; all Winona State University activities induce other organizations and businesses to spend more, creating what is known as a “multiplier effect.” Finally, by educating its students, the university enhances the productivity of both public and private organizations in Minnesota.

“The numbers in this report demonstrate the significant impact Winona State has on the regional economy,” said Olson. “But the numbers alone can’t quantify the skills and knowledge our students and alumni contribute to organizations throughout the region and state.”

The study also concluded that WSU generates approximately $17 million in tax revenues for state and local government. The study further estimated the value of the increase in productivity that the 1,669 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, post-master’s, and doctorate degrees awarded by WSU in 2011 will yield throughout the careers of the graduates. Assuming a 40-year work life, the education received by these graduates will yield additional state income of $301.2 million.

“WSU makes a long-term contribution to the regional economy with every graduating class because the productivity improvements from higher education last for the worker’s entire career,” said Jose Diaz, research scientist for Wilder.

On a statewide level, the Wilder study shows the seven state universities and 24 community and technical colleges that are part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System:

  • Generate an annual economic impact of $8.3 billion (direct impact of $5 billion and indirect impact in other industries of $3.3 billion).
  • Represent a return of $13.53 for each $1 of state appropriation.
  • Generate an estimated 80,856 jobs in the state (56,876 direct jobs and 23,979 additional indirect jobs created by vendors, contractors and businesses supplying inputs to our colleges and universities and their students).
  • Generate approximately $490 million in tax revenues for Minnesota state and local governments.

In addition to the impact outlined above, the enhanced productivity of MnSCU graduates across the state is equivalent to $4.7 billion of future value created each year.

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Andrea Northam