Report Analyzes University's Economic Impacts

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saint Joseph's University is a major economic player that is pumping nearly half a billion dollars into the Commonwealth's economy annually, according to an independent analysis completed recently.

The report, "Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Saint Joseph's University," was prepared by Econsult Corporation of Philadelphia.

"Saint Joseph's is advancing dramatically, and this report quantifies the University's growing contributions to the economy and quality of life of the region, the city, the Commonwealth and indeed the world," said President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J.

The University's annual direct expenditures of $239 million generated an economic impact of $492 million for the Commonwealth and supported nearly 5,700 jobs statewide and helped boost construction, academic research, consumer spending, entrepreneurship and neighborhood revitalization initiatives.

"As part of Philadelphia's powerful higher education industry, SJU plays a key economic role by providing higher education to both local students and students from outside the area," the report stated.  "By doing so, SJU advances the productivity of, and employment opportunities for area students, thereby increasing the quality of the region's labor force.  This makes the region more attractive to companies, and thus strengthens the region's economy."

Fr. Lannon observed, "From the people Saint Joseph's employs to the local and national vendors from whom it purchases goods and services to the spending of millions of dollars by students and their families, faculty, staff and visitors, the University clearly plays a significant economic role.

"At a time when major companies are relocating with increasing frequency, universities are among the most enduring institutions likely to be where they are today in 10, 25 or 50 years."

The report also outlined the qualitative contributions of Saint Joseph's, including its "output"— educated and skilled graduates and an important research agenda; its role as an invested civic partner, working closely with community leaders and neighborhood organizations; the educational, cultural and religious programs available to members of the local community, and the extensive service outreach and activities that reflect the University's Catholic, Jesuit mission.

"SJU serves as an important local community asset, providing numerous intangible benefits to the region through community outreach programs and initiatives…education programs designed to contribute to the region's 'Knowledge Industry' base…skilled workers…[and] research and development efforts [that] enhance the regional image, promote regional discovery and innovation, and bring university-developed technology and research results to the community and local marketplace," the report concluded.

--Harriet Goodheart



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