SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher hailed the recent release of the New Paltz Economic Impact Statement as a model program for the SUNY system during her presentation to the Ulster County Chamber breakfast on Dec. 15. Campuses across the SUNY system are being encouraged to develop economic impact studies of their own similar to that of New Paltz.
The New Paltz statement, released by Interim President Donald Christian on Dec. 7, reports that the College contributes $338 million to the Hudson Valley economy annually and generates 3,331 jobs in the region.
The College is the third-largest employer in Ulster County with 1,738 employees and a $67.5 million payroll, of which 92% is paid in the Hudson Valley, and 99% stays in New York State, Christian said. In addition, the College employs almost 1,800 student workers.
“The College is an economic anchor that is a source of stability in our economy through all sorts of economic travails – and that warrants strong and continued public support,” Christian said. “Even though we do not pay taxes, we return a lot of money to the local economy in other ways.”
For the study, the Hudson Valley encompasses seven counties: Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester. All the data in this report are for the 2008-09 academic year. New Paltz researchers used standard models developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and used by universities and colleges nationwide to calculate economic impact.
Four components of the College’s direct spending are included in this analysis: employee salaries ($67.5 million), spending on goods, services and construction ($53.7 million), student spending ($101.3 million) and visitor spending ($3.8 million).
This direct spending by the College, its employees, students, and visitors circulates through the local economy, supporting and enriching local business and industry. Federally-developed formulae were used to account for the indirect spending or multiplier effect ($153.2 million).
Annually, the College contributes about $400 million and almost 4,000 jobs to the New York economy.
Each year direct college spending, excluding wages, totals $53.7 million on construction, goods and services with one-half (48% or 1,710) of the College’s vendors in the Hudson Valley. About 845 vendors are in Ulster County alone and $1.9 million or about half of total Ulster County spending is in New Paltz.
Student spending (excluding $35 million in tuition & fees) totaled $101.3 million in the Hudson Valley with an impact of $171.4 million and 1,243 jobs. Statewide the same expenditure generated $180.2 million and 1,401 jobs.
Visitor spending (visitors to students) had an economic and employment impact of $7.2 million in the Hudson Valley, and $7.6 million in New York State.
Paying it forward through campus community volunteerism and service
In the past year, 79% of the College’s personnel volunteered their time for 100 hours on average. This translated into 140,000 hours of volunteerism.
“That’s the equivalent of 70 full-time volunteers working year round for the good of our communities,” Christian said. “New Paltz is proud to have a committed workforce that embraces the values of volunteerism and community service,” Christian said.
According to the SUNY System Strategic Plan 2010, 97% of all New Yorkers live within 20 miles of a SUNY campus and these campuses and their communities are the anchors of the state’s economic revitalization. “We’re excited about the role that New Paltz plays in the Hudson Valley economy and the region’s future,” Christian said.
The study was prepared by staff in the Office of Institutional Research & Planning and the Center for Research, Regional Education & Outreach (CRREO).
More detailed information is available at www.newpaltz.edu/makinganimpact.