Community Impact: CSC Added $152.5 Million in Revenue to the State’s Economy | Education

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Chadron State College added $152.5 million in revenue to Nebraska‘s economy according to a report released this week. Collectively, Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges add $564.8 million in revenue to the state economy each year.


JEFF VAN PATTEN/Star-Herald


The Nebraska State College System (NSCS) recently released the Economic Impact Report, and Chancellor Paul Turman said he was pleased with the results.

“The released report is both comprehensive and insightful, and confirms how vital colleges are to students, the rural areas they serve, and Nebraska,” Turman said in a press release.

The report breaks down each college’s impact in a summary and fact sheet and provides more detail in the full report. Overall, the three colleges contributed to a thriving workforce and grew local and state economies.

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The state invests just under $56 million annually to support state colleges, with the NSCS generating $10 in economic impact for every dollar invested. The economic impact of the NSCS has also supported 10,593 jobs in Nebraska, meaning colleges and their students support one in every 127 jobs in the state. Chadron State College’s economic impact of $152.5 million supported 2,748 jobs.

Chadron State College also adds economic value to the state as an employer and a large consumer of goods and services.

Deb Cottier, executive director of the Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation, said the value CSC provides to the community is significant.

“It’s clearly, by far, the biggest employer in town,” she said. “The economic impact of wages alone up there is significant.”

In fiscal year 2019-20, the college employed approximately 664 full-time and part-time faculty and staff, 94% of whom lived in Nebraska. That’s 3:1 over the second-best employer, Chadron Community Hospital with 200 employees. The study found that the impact of college operating expenses was $25.8 million, equivalent to supporting 656 jobs in Nebraska.

With respect to the impact of construction expenditures, CSC has invested in facility maintenance to meet its growing educational demands. Over the course of the study, CSC’s construction expenditures were equivalent to $799,043 in additional revenue, which is equivalent to supporting 13 jobs.

Student spending also impacted the community by generating $12.6 million in additional revenue for the state, enough to support 276 jobs. Alumni have also impacted the state’s economy through the workforce. The alumni generated $113.3 million in additional revenue that would support 1,803 jobs.

CSC’s total economic impact is $152,499,043 or approximately $152.5 million, as reported in the study.

CSC also supports community businesses as students seek employment to spend money while in college.

“The students who participate are the greatest source of labor for our community for entry-level labor-type jobs,” Cottier said. “Whether it’s working in a convenience store, hotel, restaurant or Walmart, they’re extremely important in that regard.”

Analyzing the 2018-2019 fiscal year, CSC student enrollment was 3,152 students.

Another economic impact of the college comes from the extracurricular activities and camps offered. Families and prospective students travel to Chadron to attend home sporting events and college or sports camps, which support the tourism economy as they stay in hotels, dine at local restaurants, and shop in local stores.

“Whether people are just coming to watch a football game or to follow their own children here or they are professional level scouts, these people are essentially visitors to our community and are counted in the accommodation tax”, Cottier said. “But they wouldn’t come here without Chadron State.”

The college’s ability to spot athletic and academic talent, whether students or faculty, on campus provides the community with a unique opportunity to engage and experience many cultures. These opportunities to engage with other cultures at campus events or in conversations around town are invaluable, Cottier said.

“The diversity of people who come to school at Chadron State or who come to teach at Chadron State has a huge impact on our overall quality of life,” she said. “We have the opportunity to learn from international students and are not as isolated from other cultures as we otherwise would be. I don’t know if you put a number on that, but it’s extremely valuable that we learn about other cultures and have the opportunity to meet people who weren’t born and raised in Chadron.

The study also found that students who attend Chadron, Peru, or Wayne State colleges were more likely to stay in the state after graduation. One year after graduation, 83% of Nebraska residents who graduate from one of the colleges are still living and working in the state, supporting the state’s economy and providing a skilled workforce in high demand sectors.

Graduates also see high returns on their investments in education, with the average graduate with a bachelor’s degree from a state college earning $22,100 annually more than someone with a high school diploma or the equivalent in the state. Over their lifetime, this graduate will earn $928,200 more than a high school graduate.

“This report confirms how directly contributions from Chadron, Peru and Wayne State colleges fuel Nebraska’s economy,” Turman said.

The full report is available at starherald.com.

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