Feb 3rd, 2009 @ 8:10 am | Author:
The North Dakota University System has released an analysis showing that Valley City State University (VCSU) had an impact on the area's economy of $55.6 million during the 2008 fiscal year, an increase of 41.7% since the first such study for the 1999 fiscal year.

Steve Shirley, president of VCSU, said, "It is clear based on this study and the numbers herein that the students, faculty, staff, and capital expenditures generated by VCSU on an annual basis have a tremendously positive economic benefit for Valley City and our region. This is another successful indicator of the win-win relationship existing between VCSU and the entire Valley City / Barnes County community."

The study, entitled "Economic Impact of the North Dakota University System," was commissioned by the University System office and conducted by North Dakota State University's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. For each of the 11 campuses in the University System, the study calculated the total economic impact by adding direct expenditures (including General Fund, non-general fund and capital improvements) to subsequent expenditures created by the 'ripple effects' of the direct expenditures. The model also allocated expenditures to various sectors in the economy. According to the study, VCSU had the largest impact the area's Household sector ($22.1 million) followed by Retail Trade ($13.0 million) and Finance, Insurance, Real Estate ($5.6 million). Other sectors have seen dramatic growth since FY1999 including Business and Personal Services (47.5%), Construction (47.1%), and Professional Services (42.7%). The study estimated that this level of business activity would support over 500 jobs in the area in addition to the 163 persons employed by the university.

The study also described the impact resulting from student expenditures. Direct student expenditures were estimated to be $6.5 million producing an estimated total economic impact of $16.1 million, primarily through increased retail trade ($7.2 million) and increased personal income ($3.9 million). The study concluded that this level of business activity generated $336,000 sales and use tax revenue and $58,000 personal income tax collections, and supported 113 direct and induced jobs.

Statewide, the study estimated that the entire North Dakota University System and its students had an economic impact of $3.5 billion.