Press Release for Economic Impact Study in 2007

Press Release—2007 CRC Economic Impact Study

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –The five institutions of higher education in Raleigh account for 25 percent of all wage and salary income and 20 percent of total employment in Wake County. These significant numbers were measured in an economic impact study prepared for the campuses that make up Cooperating Raleigh Colleges (CRC): Meredith College, North Carolina State University, Peace College, Saint Augustine’s College and Shaw University.

The five colleges contributed an estimated $5.5 billion to the Wake County economy in 2007. The study looked at the combined effects of what the institutions spent for faculty and staff salaries, campus operations and construction and also at spending by current students, alumni living in the area, and attendees at athletic and cultural events. The study was by conducted by Dr. Michael L. Walden, the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor and Extension Economist at NC State University, for the Board of Directors of CRC, a 40-year-old nonprofit consortium serving the five campuses and the community.

“We have a unique combination of colleges and universities in Wake County with an economic impact that goes beyond that of faculty and student spending,” said Laura C. Bingham, president of Peace College and the current president of the CRC Board of Directors. She said that Raleigh is the only community in the country with the combination of a large, state research university, two historically black campuses and two women’s colleges. She said that special combination of educational institutions has had long-lasting impact—both economic and cultural—on the Wake County area. This study is one way to begin quantifying some of those effects, she explained.

“Perhaps the impact that is most often underestimated is the effect of the thousands of graduates of these institutions who come here for college and remain in the area as highly educated and contributing citizens,” Bingham said. In fact, the study estimates that alumni spending accounts for approximately $4 billion per year of the total economic impact. An estimated 61,441 alumni of these five campuses held jobs in Wake County in 2007.

The colleges and universities spent $941.1 million in 2007 on faculty and staff salaries. Another $182.1 million went toward operational expenses—from food service and maintenance to office supplies and equipment of all kinds. In addition, campus construction accounted for another $50.6 million and athletic and cultural events for $26.6 million. Many students also work while in school. An estimated 7,457 students held off-campus jobs during the year.

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