Kalamazoo College Contributed $32 Million to Area Economy During 2010-11 Academic Year

CONTACT: Jeff Palmer, 269.337.5724

February 9, 2012

– College generated 685 direct and indirect jobs, $25.7 million in personal income –
– Students and campus visitors spent $5.6 million –
– Analysis conducted by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research –

Kalamazoo, Mich. – Kalamazoo College contributed $32 million to the Kalamazoo area economy during the 2010-11 academic year, according to the findings of an economic impact analysis conducted by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

The College impacts the economy through three major activities, according to the analysis: operations, student expenditures, and visitor expenditures.

The College employed 396 full and part-time workers earning an annual payroll of approximately $19.6 million during the 2010-11 academic year. Another 289 jobs and personal income of $6 million were indirectly generated by the presence of the College and the expenditures of students and visitors.

Additionally, “K” students spent approximately $3.6 million in the local community, and out-of-area campus visitors spent approximately $2 million.

“Kalamazoo College has been a vital part of the Kalamazoo economy since the College’s founding in 1833,” said “K” President Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran. “I expect that to continue for many years.”

“Our strategic goals call for us to grow the College’s enrollment to 1,500 students. Reaching this goal will make our financial contribution to the community even greater.”

Wilson-Oyelaran pointed to recent campus construction projects as further evidence of the College’s positive impact on the area economy, by helping provide much needed construction jobs. These include a $14 million renovation of the Hicks Student Center completed in 2008, and a $16 million renovation of the “K” athletic fields that is currently underway and due to be completed in fall 2012.

The College also hopes to begin construction this summer on a building to house the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership estimated to cost about $4 million. A new fitness and wellness center estimated to cost $7 million and a new natatorium estimated to cost $14 million are in early stages planning.

“Beyond the economic contributions ‘K’ makes to the local economy are the cultural, educational, and social contributions our students, faculty, and staff make to the local community,” said Wilson-Oyelaran. “Our students alone performed nearly 33,000 hours of community service-learning last year with nearly 50 local partner organizations.”

According to Brad Watts, regional analyst for the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, because “K” is a unique, competitive liberal arts college, it is assumed that none of the $32 million would be channeled to the region if not for the presence of the College.

“Even if the students’ families live in the Kalamazoo metropolitan area, it is assumed that they would choose to attend other small liberal arts schools elsewhere if Kalamazoo College did not exist. Their expenditures are considered to be “export” dollars in the sense that the money would not be spent in the region if not for the presence of the college.”

The Upjohn Institute analysis was commissioned by Kalamazoo College and is based on data provided during the 2010-11 academic year that ended June 30, 2011.

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research organization, was established on July 1, 1945. It is an activity of the W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation, which was founded in 1932 to administer a fund set aside by the late Dr. W.E. Upjohn (1852-1932), founder of the Upjohn Company, for the purpose of conducting research into the causes and effects of unemployment and measures for the alleviation of unemployment. Today, the Institute’s Research Division analyzes the dynamics of the labor market and conducts evaluations of employment programs around the world. For more information see www.upjohn.org.

Founded in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1833, Kalamazoo College (www.kzoo.edu) is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and the creator of the K-Plan, which emphasizes rigorous scholarship, experiential learning, and both international and intercultural engagement. “K” has approximately 1,400 students from 36 states and 31 countries; 18 percent are domestic students of color. At Kalamazoo College, we do more in four years so students can do more in a lifetime.