BY SAWYER CORNELIUS
Salisbury University contributes an annual $480.5 million to the Salisbury-area economy and greater Eastern Shore region.
The 2016 economic impact study conducted by the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) states that SU generates roughly half a billion dollars in local economic influence, 3,287 full- or part-time jobs and $79.5 million in other annual fiscal impacts.
A similar 2005 study also performed by BEACON marked an economic impact of $351 million, supporting an equivalent of close to 3,000 jobs. Eleven years removed and the devolvement has far from ceased.
The University’s current local retail impact stems from the majority of the stimulus that can be attributed to students buying goods and financing services. This includes the nine months of the year in which they are residents of the Salisbury community.
Approximately $90 million of student spending occurs annually at local places of business.
Mayor Jake Day recently stated his pride for the SU graduate population and their economic support.
“Salisbury University graduates over 2,000 bright, talented, young entrepreneurs, teachers, artists and scientists into the world every year, representing nothing less than the future of this community,” Day said.
An estimated $112 million in additional funds is brought to the area by an SU-educated workforce, outreach programs and sponsored entrepreneurship activities.
This statistic includes $94 million in lifetime earnings per graduating class, conservatively assuming that 10 percent of SU alumni remain in the region upon graduation.
President and CEO of Peninsula Regional Health System Dr. Peggy Naleppa commented with regard to SU’s various internship programs for university faculty.
“Peninsula Regional Medical Center and Salisbury University have enjoyed a strong, vibrant, personal, professional and productive relationship ever since SU was founded in 1925,” Naleppa said. “It’s one that I am extremely proud to continue to advocate and foster.”
Of course, talented students cannot be raised without the due diligence of school administrative staff, supportive faculty and knowledgeable professors, all of whom are additional components to the growths of the region’s economy.
Wicomico County Council President John T. Cannon commented on the growth and impact of SU throughout the years.
“We’ve witnessed strong growth as an institution with new facilities, programs, staff and students—all partnering with local government, industry and the community as a whole.”
The needs of the university to provide modern, up-to-par facilities accompanies a desire to pull from local engineering and architecture firms, such as Whiting-Turner, to support the needs of the present and the future.
The study cites SU’s ongoing age of construction through its providing nearly $33.5 million annually, ringing in a total of $535.7 million of improvements made to student housing, academic resources and administrative offices.
With projected expansion and greater campus improvements promised in the near future, the local economy is guaranteed to be continually supported, in part, by Salisbury University students, staff and faculty.
Additional information regarding the study can be found at www.salisbury.edu or on the phone at (410)-543-6030.