Thursday, October 7, 2010

In 10 Years, Center Has Had Heavy Economic Impact

The Roanoke Higher Education Center today released an economic impact report highlighting its financial contributions to the regional economy. The study, released at the center’s 10th anniversary celebration, shows an annual stimulus of $32 million in spending and economic development.

“We set out to conduct a study because we wanted to quantify our many contributions to the region,” said Thomas L. McKeon, Ed.D., executive director of the Roanoke Higher Education Center.

“This report shows that the Roanoke Higher Education Center has a major impact on the region, supporting jobs, higher salaries for alumni and local spending. It shows that higher education continues to be a great investment. The results are especially gratifying as we celebrate our 10th anniversary and prepare to serve the future workforce training needs while providing the region with quality, local higher-education choices.”

The report was prepared by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission to quantify the economic benefits and overall contribution to the region of the center’s annual operation. Commission staff surveyed current students, alumni and institutions to determine the findings.

Highlights from the economic impact report include:

  • The Roanoke Higher Education Center and the operations of its institutional members directly support 103.1 jobs throughout the regional economy. The induced and indirect impacts add an additional 35.4 jobs. The total impact of the center’s operations and those of its institutional members represents a $13.4 million dollar impact on regional sales.
  • Student spending induced through participation at the center’s programs adds an additional $2.3 million and supports roughly 35 service-sector jobs.
  • The survey sought to quantify the increase in personal earnings attributable to completion of one of the center’s academic programs. The spending resulting from increased earnings among alumni who remain in the region contributes an additional $16 million and more than 135 jobs.
  • The total impact is an annual stimulus of nearly $32 million. This activity supports nearly 310 jobs earning an average of $35,142 per year.
“This is quite an impressive impact considering the Center was launched a decade ago, and, along with its members, operates on a $9 million annual budget,” McKeon said.

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