College's annual impact assessed at $37 million
The report was presented by David J. Ward, Ph.D., chief executive officer of NorthStar Economics, Inc., Madison. It is the first formal assessment of CMN's economic impact in its 18-year history.
"As an institution of higher learning we measure our success in terms of student achievement," says Dr. Verna Fowler, president of the College. "As a tribally chartered entity we also measure in terms of service and outreach to the community. Our Congressional recognition as a Land Grant institution adds our ability to do applied research to the yardstick. With the College finishing its second decade of operations, we felt it was time to also set a benchmark for what CMN means for the region in financial terms."
The study determined CMN's total annual economic impact based on activity in academic year 2010-2011. It looks specifically at impacts on the Menominee Reservation and Shawano County, which is the major population and commerce center closest to Keshena, where the main campus is located. The report also includes data from Brown County, where the College's urban campus serves about one-third of CMN's student enrollment.
Ward, whose firm has conducted economic impact studies for the University of Wisconsin System as a whole and for several individual UW campuses, told those attending the Monday night presentation that "CMN's economic impact of $37 million each year offers jobs, economic opportunity, and stability to the people on the Menominee Reservation and surrounding counties".
Ward added, "The College has done an excellent job of attracting federal money to the Reservation and region. As important as its economic impact, the CMN is building the human capital base on the Reservation to help address the many economic challenges facing the Reservation and its members."
The report lists one part of the economic impact of CMN as coming from direct spending by the College's operations, faculty, staff, students and visitors: "Direct spending supports local and state businesses and those businesses, in turn, employ workers and spend money in the State".
Indirect and induced spending is also part of the calculation. It results from direct spending dollars cycling through the economy as businesses do trade with other business which in turn hire workers.
Among the spending categories, employee dollars had the greatest influence in academic year 2010-2011. Employee direct spending of more than $5.9 million provided an economic impact of more than $13.85 million regionally and nearly $9.7 million for the economy of the Menominee Reservation.
Spending on institutional operations (nearly $4.258 million) and by CMN student (nearly $4.318 million) resulted in a combined economic impact of about $20 million regionally and about $14 million to the reservation's economy. The third direct-spending category - visitors who come to CMN campuses for a variety of reasons and directly spend almost $1.403 million - provide an economic impact of $3.3 million to the region and $2.3 million to the reservation.
The report notes: "Faculty, staff, student, visitor and College direct spending of nearly $16 million feeds the economic engine that, in turn, generates more than $21 million in indirect and induced spending".
Private businesses are the major beneficiary of the College's direct spending, receiving $14,739,193 million - almost 93 percent of the nearly $16 million. The remaining categories having impact from the College's direct spending include local government ($714,204), not-for-profit organizations ($377,331), and individual households ($52,797).
Jobs are created and supported by the College's spending in several ways, according to the report: faculty and staff hired directly by the College; operational spending that creates jobs in regional and state businesses, and employee student and visitor spending that creates jobs in retail stores, the hospitality industry, banks and so forth. The report estimates that CMN's impact on full time equivalent positions on the reservation is 283 jobs and in regionally 404 jobs.
The NorthStar report notes that like many higher education institutions, CMN is tax exempt, the College's economic activity generates tax revenues from state income tax payments, sales taxes and local property tax payments. With adjustments for exemptions, the CMN total tax revenue amount is determined to be more than $833,000 for the school year 2010-2011.
The College, which currently enrolls 700 undergraduates, awards baccalaureate and associate degrees, certificates of mastery and technical-trades diplomas in a number of fields of study. CMN is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Northstar Economics, a consulting and research firm, is located in the Metro Innovation Center, University Research Park, Madison. The firm has done economic impact studies for the University of Wisconsin System, and UW campuses in Madison, Oshkosh, Platteville and Stevens Point, as well as public colleges and universities in Kansas. NorthStar projects have also included analyses of the economic impact of the state's public library system, construction industries, skilled apprenticeship programs and others.
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