SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University contributes over $350 million annually to the Lower Eastern Shore economy and generates the equivalent of 3,000 local jobs, according to an economic impact study recently released.
The findings of the study, which was conducted by the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON), were announced at a news conference hosted by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC). Business and civic leaders from across the region joined Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and BEACON Director Memo Diriker at the announcement, and several area employers underscored the University's positive effect on their own businesses.
Dudley-Eshbach expressed pride and satisfaction with the findings of the study: "This study confirms that Salisbury University is good for business. The $351 million that is generated each year through the spending of Salisbury's students, faculty, employees and visitors is vital to the strength of our regional economy. Meanwhile, our ability to provide students with the tools to compete in today's information-based economy helps the Lower Eastern Shore attract successful businesses and good-paying jobs."
"Salisbury University is a major economic engine for our community,” said Brad Bellacicco, executive director of SACC. “It lends stability in turbulent economic times to the region’s economy. It is a superior source of skilled employees. Its mere presence is of benefit because of its operations and the faculty, staff and students it brings to the community. The Perdue School outreach programs, in particular, help elevate the professionalism of the Lower Shore business community.”
Along with Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Perdue Farms, Inc. and Wicomico County government, SU is one of the county’s biggest employers, Bellacicco added.
In the study BEACON used both a traditional methodology from the American Council on Education to measure college or university economic impact as well as a contemporary model used last year in a study of the University System of Georgia.
SU has some 7,000 students, a full- and part-time faculty of 500, and a full- and part-time staff of 875—a payroll of nearly 1,400. With nationally ranked academics and athletics, the campus attracts an estimated 20,000 visitors annually.
University-related spending breaks down into three categories:
Direct: a $100 million operational budget, $33 million in student spending, and other monies from visitors including the Sea Gull Century, athletics and cultural programs--total $140.6 million annually.
Indirect: the activities generated when an institution, its employees and students purchase goods or services in the host community--$52.8 million impact.
Induced: the activities generated when households spend more because of increases in their earnings generated by direct and indirect spending related to a campus--$158.2 million.
Total of direct, indirect and induced spending: $351.6 million.
The study also examines the employment impact of SU beyond campus. An additional “induced employment impact” or jobs generated by induced spending results in the equivalent of 1,100 additional jobs added to the economy for a 2,500 job total. When translated into the region’s median income levels, this figure grows to 3,000 job equivalents throughout the Lower Shore (Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties). If the University did not exist in the local economy, the current unemployment rates in the region hypothetically would increase by two-thirds.
At the announcement of the study, Hunter Johnston, president of Inacom, Robert Mulford, president and owner of the Market Street Inn, and Kevin Bernstein, president of Lorch Microwave, all echoed Bellacicco’s assessment.
"Salisbury University was one of the primary reasons for locating our microwave filter business in Salisbury,” said Bernstein. “Clearly, the quality and reputation of the educational program, including the arts and athletics, help to provide, attract and maintain a world-class workforce. We are very fortunate to have an institution of this caliber in our community.”
The study also looked at the impact of SU alumni in the region. The University has some 30,000 alumni, with nearly a third living on the Eastern Shore—most in Salisbury and the surrounding counties. According to the BEACON study these alumni contribute over $500 million annually in direct, indirect and induced spending. For more information on the study call BEACON at 410-546-6601 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.
Selected Statements on the Impact of Salisbury University
Salisbury University is a major economic engine for our community. It lends stability in turbulent economic times to the region’s economy. It is a superior source of skilled employees. Its mere presence is of benefit because of its operations and the faculty, staff and students it brings to the community. The Perdue School outreach programs, in particular, help elevate the professionalism of the Lower Shore business community.”
Brad Bellacicco, executive director, Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce
The economic benefit of having a nationally recognized university in Salisbury goes well beyond the initial impact of being one of the City's largest employers and having 7,000 students contributing to the local economy. It establishes a climate for the cultural, social and economic life of the community, attracting and consistently contributing to an exciting and diverse mix of individuals here in Salisbury.
Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman, Salisbury
Salisbury University is a major contributor, both educationally and economically, not only to Wicomico County but to our entire state and general geographic area. We are most fortunate to have this university in our midst so we can appreciate its contributions to our way of life.
Anthony Sarbanes, president, Wicomico County Council
I can't imagine Wicomico County Public Schools without Salisbury University as a resource and partner. Every year, 550 future teachers train in classrooms in Wicomico County and across the Eastern Shore. Wicomico County teachers take courses at Salisbury University to further their education. In fact, some Wicomico teachers serve as instructors for SU education students. We recognize the excellent preparation SU students receive for careers in teaching, and have been able to hire many graduates as Wicomico teachers. Salisbury University graduates are an integral part of our highly qualified workforce, as shown by the fact that many of our Wicomico County Teachers of the Year are alumni of SU. Salisbury University and Wicomico County Public Schools truly cooperate to achieve the school system's goal of working together for children.
Dr. Charlene C. Boston, superintendent of schools, Wicomico County
Peninsula Regional Medical Center would like to thank and recognize Salisbury University for the important role that it plays in the training and education of our future health care professionals. Just as you and your colleagues care and nurture the minds and spirits of those you teach and train each and every year, we at Peninsula Regional care for and nurture the physical and emotional needs of our patients, their families and friends each and every day. It takes a special group of people who dedicate themselves to a career in health care and one that demands our special attention and commitment to ensure that we have an adequate number of well-trained and highly qualified individuals to provide that care today and on into the future.
We know how important Salisbury University is to our regional economy and community and how fortunate Peninsula Regional is to have such a wonderful academic institution in our backyard training and preparing health care providers representing a variety of disciplines. They are our future and the reason why I am confident that the residents of the Delmarva Peninsula will always have the quality of health care that they have come to expect.
Alan Newberry, president/CEO, Peninsula Regional Health System
I’m an alum of Salisbury University’s Perdue School and won the Bernstein Award in 2000 with Travis Fisher. Our business plan led to my founding my own company which ultimately resulted in my owning Inacom in Salisbury, a local leader on the Peninsula among one-solution providers of voice data and application Web and telephony services. We employ SU alumni and find that SU provides them with a good foundation for their understanding of the information technology world, which we’re able to then build upon. SU is a good source of prepared IT employees for me.
Hunter Johnston, president, Inacom of Salisbury and 2000 alumnus of SU
Salisbury University was one of the primary reasons for locating our microwave filter business in Salisbury. Clearly, the quality and reputation of the educational program, including the arts and athletics, help to provide, attract and maintain a world-class workforce. We are very fortunate to have an institution of this caliber in our community.
Kevin Bernstein, president, Lorch Microwave and 1992 alumnus of SU
I can easily say when Salisbury University is in gear, my restaurant is in gear. One new incoming freshman represents the chance to have a revenue stream for four years. The University also supplies 25-35 percent of my workforce. This workforce represents different cultures, brings other restaurant experiences with them and is able to accommodate flexible scheduling. I also utilize the Perdue School of Business internship program. This has given me, an independent business owner, an opportunity to compete with larger chains in such areas as market analysis, direct marketing, internal documentation and human resources. These are things I could not afford to pay for or have the time to give my direct attention to otherwise. Also when the University is in session, money is being generated in town and that money goes to other business owners and in turn they come to my restaurant and spend it. When summer is here, business is slower. Without the University, I don’t think I could have the restaurant I have today.
Robert Mulford, Jr., president, Market Street Inn and 1992 alumnus of SU