Minnesota State, the system of 30 state colleges and seven state universities, recently released the results of a study that estimates the contribution of Riverland Community College to the local economy is $121.4 million in Fiscal Year 2017 and supports and sustains 1,101 jobs with $7.1 million in state and local revenue each year.
“Even though the success of our students is our top priority it is important to note that Riverland also plays a vital role in both the state and the regional economies. Our operations and the economic activity generated by our faculty, staff, and students touch virtually every corner of our regional economy including education, hospitality, child day care services, and retail,” said Dr. Adenuga Atewologun, college president.
The study was commissioned by Minnesota State and was conducted by Parker Philips, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis.
“An economic contribution analysis is an objective way to measure the significance of an organization in the regional economy; it is a tool that policy makers can use to inform their decisions,” said Nichole Parker, a principal partner at Parker Philips. “Riverland Community College clearly is a major contributor to the regional economy.”
In the analysis, the study considered the direct spending on operations, pay, benefits, and capital projects by Riverland and the estimated increase in demand for goods and services in industry sectors that supply or support the college. The study also measured the effect of student spending and the induced effect of increased household income.
According to the study, a key result of this activity is that Riverland supports and sustains 1,101 jobs including direct employment by the college, as well as indirect and induced jobs created by supply and equipment vendors, contractors, and laborers for the construction and renovation of facilities, and jobs created in the community at hotels, restaurants, and retail stores in support of the college’s faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
The study also calculated tax revenues generated by this level of economic activity, including sales, property, personal income, and corporate income taxes. The study concluded that Riverland generates about $7.1 million in tax revenues for state and local government.
The study further also found that alumni added significant value to the economy through increased productivity that the degrees awarded by Riverland yield throughout the careers of the graduates. Assuming a 40-year work life, the education received by these graduates will yield additional state income.
“Riverland makes a long-term contribution to the regional economy with every graduating class because the productivity improvements from post-secondary education and training last a the worker’s entire career,” said Atewologun.
Statewide, all Minnesota State operations, including all seven state universities and 30 community and technical colleges, plus the spending of its faculty, staff, and students, had a total statewide economic contribution of $8.0 billion. This activity generated an estimated 67,717 jobs in the state, one out of every 55 jobs in the state.
The economic contribution report for Riverland is available at MinnState.edu/IMPACT.
Minnesota State includes 30 community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving approximately 375,000 students. It is the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States.