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GVSU releases tri-county economic impact study


This is the time of year when colleges and universities across the country release their economic impact studies. During its Board of Trustees meeting, Grand Valley State University unveiled its economic influence on the region.

What is the economic value of Grand Valley State University to West Michigan, in particular, the tri-county area of Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties? The university estimates its $780 million.  That’s up from $730 million last year.

Matt McLogan, Vice President of University Relations explains the “multiplier effect.”

“The university spending, coupled with the spending of students, faculty and staff produce more than 11,000 jobs in the private sector. And so many households in Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon and environs actually have their bread winner working in a company that provides goods and services to the university or serves our faculty or staff or students.”

GVSU alone employs 3,400 and student enrollment has eclipsed 25,000, all of them taxpayers.

Grand Valley President, Dr. Tom Haas points out its economic impact study is unique.

“Other across the state, in fact across the nation, also includes the impact of their students and student salaries. This does not include 47,000+  alumni that we have in the tri-county region as well. So you can see that these numbers are pretty significant, but if you look at the alumni base that we have here in the tri-county region it’s even more illustrative of our impact.”

The report also factors in “New construction and renovations pumped more than $75 million into the local economy in 2015, creating more than 1,500 trade and construction jobs.”

WGVU is a service of Grand Valley State University.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.   

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.