WILMINGTON — The presence of a small college has a great impact on Wilmington and Clinton County’s economy to the tune of $46.5 million.
A study conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center found Wilmington College to be a major economic driver when considering its hand in 745 jobs in the county, as well as the institution’s operations, student spending and capital expenditures.
The research, which focused on the 2015-16 academic year, indicates a $46.5 million impact in the county largely through direct expenditures and the purchases of its employees and students.
“Wilmington College is embedded in the local community and economy of Clinton County,” the study proclaimed. “While the College’s main function is to educate its students, it directly and indirectly supports the local economy through purchases, as well as its ability to retain students and workers, who then expend money in the county.”
President Jim Reynolds said the study aptly illustrates the wide-ranging multiplier effect WC contributes in the local community.
“The College has long been — and correctly so — perceived as a beacon for higher education and cultural opportunities in Wilmington, Clinton County and southwest Ohio, but this study especially accentuates its role as an economic pillar,” Reynolds said. “It’s impressive to review the study’s findings on the College’s ripple effect throughout the community.”
Indeed, research discovered that the College directly supported 607 jobs (including its 199 full and part-time employees) and indirectly supported another 138 full and part-time jobs in Clinton County in 2015-16.
This represents major purchasing power and tax revenue.
The College’s economic impact rose significantly from the $34.4 million realized in the University of Cincinnati’s previous study of the College, which covered the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Part of that large increase was due to the major construction and capital projects occurring on campus in recent years. The College purchased nearly $10 million in capital expenditures in FY16, of which $1.6 million remained in the Clinton County economy and resulted in a total impact of $2.1 million.
WC’s economic impact falls into two major categories. First is the net economic impact of new money from outside Clinton County that is spent within the local economy because of the College. Secondly, its retained economic impact results from spending by local students that might have moved elsewhere for higher education if not for attending WC.
Non-local WC students generated $5.6 million in new money to Clinton County in fiscal year 2016, and their presence supported 65 full and part-time jobs with local businesses, which, in turn supported another 11 jobs in the county.