Study shows Ridgewater College's $90M economic impact
WILLMAR — Ridgewater College has an economic impact of $90 million on the regional economy and contributes 1,172 jobs, according to a study released Monday by the college.
The study also concluded that Ridgewater College generates approximately $5 million in tax revenues for state and local government.
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 study includes Ridgewater’s campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson.
Jose Diaz, research scientist for Wilder, said in a news release, “This economic impact research provides a statistically valid measurement of the significance of an organization’s activities on the regional economy. Policy makers and community leaders can use the data to inform their decisions. Ridgewater College clearly has a significant impact on the regional economy.”
The study further estimated the value of the increase in productivity that the 558 associate degrees, certificates and diplomas by Ridgewater College 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 $36.2 million. “Ridgewater College 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 Diaz.
“In addition to focusing on the success of our students, Ridgewater College plays a vital role in supporting our state and regional economy,” said Dr. Doug Allen, Ridgewater 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.”
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.