What Does Concord Contribute? $57 Million to Southern West Virginia Economy

For Immediate Release: 
Jul 05 2001

What Does Concord Contribute? $57 Million to Southern West Virginia Economy

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College impacts the economy in the Mountain State’s southern region to the tune of $56.6 million annually, a recent study reveals.

The study, conducted by Dr. Christopher Ziemnowicz and Concord College Research and Development Corporation Executive Director Tim Oxley, was utilized to determine the small college’s economic presence in its local community of Athens, W.Va., and the surrounding area.

“Colleges have an economic impact on West Virginia in four areas,” Oxley said. “There’s human resource development, and that’s the primary mission of each institution. Better-paying jobs and larger contributions to the tax-base make for better communities and better local economies. Then there’s community service and research, development and technological transfer. All of these are important to the state economy, but we wanted to examine Concord’s economic presence. That is, the impact it has on the regional economy through its payroll, local purchasing, and visitors touring the campus and the area.”

The final statistics revealed that the college employed 250 full-time employees, 380 part-time workers and had an annual payroll in excess of ten million dollars.

“The college impacts the economy with the same magnitude as any manufacturer or major company of the same size,” said researcher Dr. Christopher Ziemnowicz. “More positively, the college may be thought of as a clean industry without air or water pollution.”

To reach their conclusion, Ziemnowicz and Oxley used a modified version of the Caffrey-Isaacs economic impact model. The Caffrey-Isaacs model is considered the standard for economic impact analyses of higher education institutions.

The researchers concluded that 1,240 local jobs were attributable to the college’s presence in southern West Virginia. The purchase of durable goods in 1999 by Concord employees was $20.2 million. The total impact of business volume and credit expansion was $36.4 million.

Located in southern West Virginia, Concord College’s fall enrollment for 2000 is close to 3,000 and consists of local, regional and international students. For the past three years, an average of 78% of the college’s graduates found employment and 19% chose enrollment in graduate or professional schools.

Call Tim Oxley at 1-304-384-6222 or email toxely@concord.edu to obtain a copy of the full report.


Photo: Chris Ziemnowicz, Tim Oxley

Concord College Notes: The Communication Arts Department produces the college’s student newspaper, radio programming and television programming. The department also produces theatrical and musical productions. It is organized similar to today’s modern corporation with the students completing projects under both student and faculty supervision. This gives students real-world experience that focuses on accountability and responsibility.

Jessica Shifflett, an intern in the marketing/public relations department, wrote this press release. Her hometown is Oak Hill, W.Va. She is majoring in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Her anticipated graduation date is August 2001.