October 21, 2016

Study: UVM has $1.33B impact

BURLINGTON — The University of Vermont has a wide-ranging economic impact on Vermont that added up to $1.33 billion in fiscal year 2014, a recent study reported.

That number includes UVM’s impact on tax revenue and different industries and community groups, as well as the impact of the university’s research programs.

The study was done by Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Tripp Umbach, which has completed more than 150 economic impact studies for clients in North America, Australia and Europe. The time period covered by the study was July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014.

Richard Galbraith, UVM’s vice president for research, said the university had not, in recent memory, had a study done by an outside group to gauge the organization’s impact on Vermont.

“Some people may not know, or may not automatically see, what the benefits are of having a university,” Galbraith said.

One of the first impacts laid out in the study is jobs. The data states UVM, the state’s third-largest employer, had 4,421 employees in fiscal year 2014 and helped drive 6,866 jobs in the same year through indirect impacts, including vendors, renovation projects and service jobs driven by UVM’s workforce and visitors.

Taxes are another key area in the study. The data tackles what the study calls “a common misperception that public universities do not generate tax revenue.”

“A lot of the people we employ, and a lot of the things we do, definitely generate taxes,” Galbraith said.

The study puts the total tax-revenue impact of UVM to state and local governments in fiscal year 2014 at $78.2 million. That number includes tax impact from the university’s local spending, employment compensation and other jobs it positively impacts in Vermont’s economy.

The recent study was also the first time UVM had a study done to show the economic impact of its research programs, Galbraith said.

Frank Cioffi, a member of the UVM Board of Trustees and president of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp., said the research done by UVM leads to innovations in the health and science fields and “also has a national impact.”

“The amount of research dollars we bring into the state annually is phenomenal,” Cioffi said.

The study said UVM’s research activities in fiscal year 2014 generated $157.9 million of economic impact in the state, and those research efforts supported 809 jobs in Vermont and added $5.3 million in state and local taxes.

Lisa Ventriss, a UVM trustee and president of the Vermont Business Roundtable, said the university has a significant, positive impact on Vermont’s workforce.

“The university is an economic engine by virtue of its workforce and payroll, which puts money back into the economy; it’s the knowledge generation among the academic and student body that starts with curiosity, then leads to collaborations and ultimately creates the state’s future workforce,” Ventriss said.

Cioffi noted that about 64 percent of UVM’s graduates in 2014 stayed in Vermont, which he said is roughly 2,300 people.

Read more about the study at www.uvm.edu.

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