A large state system was among the 20 largest employers in its state and had a presence in nearly a third of the state's counties. As such, the system and its universities played a pivotal role in stimulating the economies of the counties in which each university resided. Recognizing this, the system sought help to quantify and describe its economic and employment impact on the state’s economy.
The system engaged Baker Tilly to perform an economic impact study to help quantify the system's impact. Our methodology was rooted in the use of multipliers, which were then applied to produce total impact numbers for each campus. Baker Tilly's work included computation of the direct, indirect, induced, and total economic impact – as well as the employment impact – of the state system’s universities upon the state. In addition, Baker Tilly computed the return on appropriations, analyzed the economic development impacts stemming from state system universities, and performed a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis of state system employees, students and alumni. It required hundreds of hours drilling into data with system leadership to determine the necessary takeaways that were supported by factual information. Finally, we developed a detailed written report summarizing our analysis and findings.
Baker Tilly's analysis found that the system generated more than $6.7 billion annually in economic activity, including more than $4.4 billion in economic impact comprised of institutional spending, faculty and staff spending, student spending and capital expenditures. Furthermore, we found that the system supported more than 60,000 jobs (in addition to its more than 12,000 internal employees), producing an additional $2 billion in economic benefits to the state. Our study helped to support the value the system and its universities bring to their students, local economies and the state overall.
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