Baptist colleges help put more than $14 billion into the North Carolina economy and create more than 219,000 jobs.
Campbell, Chowan, Gardner-Webb, Mars Hill and Wingate universities, all affiliated with North Carolina Baptists, were part of the study of the 36 North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).
Data collection covers the fiscal year 2012-2013. The study was commissioned by NCICU, the University of North Carolina System and the North Carolina Community College System.
“While the true contribution of Gardner-Webb University (GWU) is the positive impact on people’s lives, it is gratifying to know that the university makes a significant economic contribution to our region as well,” said GWU President Frank Bonner in a story on the school’s website.
“I suspect that many people will be pleasantly surprised both by the magnitude of this contribution and the various forms that it takes.”
Kristin Reese serves as executive director of the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership (CCEDP) in Shelby, N.C., and believes GWU has also advanced the local economy in ways that were not measured by the study.
“GWU has been intimately involved in our regional, state and local economic development initiatives,” Reese shared in a report on GWU’s website.
“The university directly contributes to our CCEDP financial incentive packages by offering tuition credits to new and expanding companies. I’m unaware of any other private university that is contributing to economic development in this manner, and the tuition credits have brought significant value to our business recruitment efforts.”
The economic impact study examined numerous categories – employee data, revenues, expense and students – to assess the influence of the campuses at various independent colleges.
The study did not include state universities. The research breaks down the types of jobs created by the colleges and the students the schools educate as well as the incomes for various education levels.
It is the first multi-sector analysis of higher education’s impact on the state’s economy, and one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind ever done for a single state.
There are a number of variables that contributed to the study and its results. Researchers at each university helped track information for EMSI.
“Campbell University is one of the largest private employers in Harnett County,” said Campbell President Jerry Wallace in a story on the university’s website.
“With more than 700 full-time employees, 6,000 students on our campuses, and nearly 30,000 alumni in North Carolina, we knew we had an impact, but this study validates our value locally and across the state.”
During the 2012-13 fiscal year, Campbell had an impact of $452.4 million in the seven counties in central North Carolina it most directly serves: Harnett, Wake, Johnston, Cumberland, Lee, Durham and Chatham.
That impact includes payroll, operations, the purchase of goods and services, start-up companies, and spending generated by students and alumni. Campbell’s total impact is the equivalent of creating 7,055 new jobs, Campbell reported on its website.
“The economic benefits of a Campbell degree to our graduates represent the ability to lead a productive and self-sufficient life,” Wallace said.
“Over 80 percent of our students and alumni call North Carolina home, and Campbell offers programs in the health sciences, business, law, medicine, pharmacy, education, divinity and other disciplines that consumers demand and our state needs.”
With all 36 members of NCICU, the schools enrolled almost 90,000 students from around the world and generated a combined $14.2 billion in added state income. This includes more than $4 billion in payroll and benefits for 66,309 full-time and part-time employees and $6.8 billion on goods and services to carry out their day-to-day operations, research and clinical activities.
The rest comes from construction and the spending of their students, visitors, start-up companies, and alumni, which in turn creates more spending and employment across the
The added state income, or additional gross state product, of $14.2 billion created by NCICU’s institutions is equal to approximately 3.2 percent of the total gross state product of North Carolina, and is equivalent to creating 219,590 new jobs. The findings are available at ncicu.org.