BSU & NTC Have Combined $321 Million Impact On Minnesota Economy
“When you’re thinking about the economic impact and you think about the dollars that are invested into higher education and Minnesota State, for every $1 that’s invested, $12 is returned,” says Dr. Faith Hensrud, the president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College impact the region in numerous ways, but thanks to Minnesota State, we can now equate that impact to a number: $321 Million plus 2,700 direct and indirect jobs.
“Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, we meet as presidents on a regular basis, on a monthly basis, and one of the things that we talked about was making sure that we were telling the story about Minnesota State and what the impact of all of the colleges and universities across the entire system was,” says Hensrud.
The $321 million combined impact is broken down into three factors: Direct Effect, which are impacts generated as result of spending by the colleges on capital projects, operations, pay and benefits; Indirect Effect, which is the increase in demand for goods and services that supply or support the colleges, their students and visitors; and Induced Effect, which is created as a result of spending by Minnesota State, its employees, students and suppliers.
When you think about the partnerships BSU and NTC has with local businesses, surrounding tribal colleges and Bemidji High School, the impact is crystal clear.
“We have students who are continually volunteering. They might be out raking leaves. They might be out helping with a project in town, so there’s plenty of opportunities for students to give back and contribute to the community,” says Hensrud.
The goal of the whole Minnesota State study was to provide a full and credible assessment of the total economic and employment impact. That way, contributors know exactly how their investment helps Minnesota.
Hensrud says, “By developing an economic impact study, we’re showing what the impact is of the institutions on the economy of the state, and I think that’s a really important point when speaking to legislatures and lawmakers to really say, ‘Here’s what we’re contributing and now how might that impact what you feel you can invest in us.’”
The last Minnesota State economic impact study was done in 2013. It’s possible another one could be done in 3 to 5 years.