A new study shows that Virginia Western Community College creates a significant positive impact on the region’s economy, generating a strong return on investment for students, society and taxpayers. Demonstrating the Economic Value of Virginia Western Community College, which was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), shows that during fiscal year 2012-13, Virginia Western and its alumni added $293.9 million to economy of its service region, which includes Roanoke City, the City of Salem, Roanoke County, Craig County, southern Botetourt County, and Franklin County.

Virginia Western commissioned the economic study as part of the ongoing development of its new organizational strategic plan: Success 2021. Along with the economic data, the college has also collected input from students, faculty and staff, alumni, veterans, community members and businesses through focus groups and surveys.

“We always strive to collaborate with our local businesses and industries to create curriculum and training programs that will drive the Roanoke Region’s economy,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “This report is very encouraging as it shows in hard numbers the great work we are doing. A Virginia Western education leads to higher individual salaries, more productive local businesses and higher tax revenues.”

Some of the major findings of the EMSI study include:

  • Virginia Western created a $293.9 million economic impact on the region in fiscal year 2012-13. Included in that is $262.9 million in alumni impact and $31 million in operations spending impact.
  • The $293.9 million in added income to the economy is approximately equal to 2.2 percent of the Gross Regional Product.
  • For every $1 spent by students on a Virginia Western education, they gain $2.70 in lifetime income.
  • For every $1 spent by society on Virginia Western, it gains $7.20 in added state income and social savings.
  • For every $1 spent by taxpayers on Virginia Western, they gain $5.70 in added taxes and public sector savings.
  • The added income created by Virginia Western and its students supported 6,845 job equivalents in the region.

To view key facts from the EMSI study or the complete report, visit: http://www.virginiawestern.edu/about/success2021/analysis.php.