Study: College has $261.7 million CNY economic impact

cupola image A newly updated study shows that SUNY Oswego had an economic impact of $261.7 million last year on the seven-county Central New York region and injected $137.3 million into the Oswego County economy last year.

“Prospering Together: 2005-06” goes beyond dollars to detail many of the effects the college has on the neighboring area in terms of economic development, educational and civic support, and cultural enrichment.

“There is no easy or shorthand way of assessing the impact of an institution of higher learning,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “This document gives an indication of how inextricably our college is woven into the fabric of the community, engendering benefits that touch all its citizens.”

The economic impact study noted that the campus had 1,912 full-time-equivalent employees, making it the top employer in the county and one of the largest in Central New York, with a payroll of $84 million.

The spending of the college and its students, faculty and staff created an additional 2,261 jobs in Oswego County plus another 1,664 jobs in six neighboring counties—Onondaga, Cayuga, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and Madison, the study found.

“The purchasing power of our employees combined with that of the college itself and the goods and services consumed by our 8,200 students help drive the regional economy,” Stanley said.

Students are active in the economy both as consumers and producers. The report’s new survey data indicated that students spent $19.1 million within Oswego County and $24.3 million in all in the seven-county region. Students provided nearly 90,000 hours of service as interns and 260,000 hours of service as volunteers to businesses, government offices, and non-profit agencies such as youth organizations, nursing homes and community agencies last year.

The report cites other ways SUNY Oswego benefits the economy, such as its Small Business Development Center and programs for entrepreneurs, businesses’ employees, and individuals seeking career advancement.

The college adds to the quality of life in the area educationally and culturally and enhances the area through the research and volunteer activities of its faculty, staff and students. Among such items mentioned in the report are Project SMART’s partnership to improve teaching in public schools; the dozens of art exhibitions, concerts and plays available for community people to attend; WRVO, one of the top public radio stations in the country by ratings; research to improve lake-effect storm forecasting; students’ volunteer income tax assistance to county residents; the college-based Retired Senior Volunteer Program; and faculty leadership in community organizations.

Joseph Grant Jr., vice president for student affairs and enrollment, said the “Prospering Together: 2005-06” brochure will be distributed to state leaders and will also be shared with Oswego County legislators, business people and others.

“Many people understand in a general way that the college is important to the health and vitality of the community,” he said, “but this report is eye opening in the details it reveals about the college’s multifaceted influence.”

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CONTACT: Dr. Joseph Grant, 312-2250

(Posted: Mar 21, 2007)