by Brent Wooten
Nearly 15,000 people have earned degrees at Saint Joseph’s College since its founding, and these alumni now live and work in 50 states and 25 countries.
While that’s a sizeable educational contribution, the college is also a significant economic contributor to the surrounding communities. To quantify that contribution, the college commissioned its first economic impact study in May.
According to the study, as both the money the college pays directly to employees and vendors and the money spent by students, their families and visitors flow through the local, regional and state economies, their economic and fiscal impact grow ever larger. The direct impact of the college payroll becomes – indirectly – payroll for businesses such as local grocery stores and local banks and doctors’ offices and restaurants. The same holds true for the money paid to college vendors and for the money spent by college students and their families and friends when they come to visit. In short, the total impact of the college includes both the direct impact of its own spending and the indirect impacts of the flow of its spending.
The following are some of the highlights of this important study.
Although impressive, these measurements do not quantify the most significant impact the college has on Maine’s economy. More than 2,000 Saint Joseph’s graduates live and work in Maine (nearly 500 in the Greater Portland area) – an important element of the college’s economic impact, however challenging it may be to quantify. These graduates and future ones will live the rest of their lives with greater knowledge and skills. Research shows that because they are college-educated, they are certain to earn higher incomes, enjoy longer, healthier and happier lives and contribute more to their communities. In that regard, Saint Joseph’s College has an impact that is truly immeasurable.