Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College have a combined impact of nearly $322 million on Minnesota’s economy

An economic impact study on the Minnesota State system of 30 state colleges and seven state universities, released in November 2018, has found that Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College combine to contribute an estimated total of more than $320 million and more than 2,700 jobs to Minnesota’s economy each year.

LEARN MOREComplete information sheet from Parker Philips (10.7 MB PDF)

“The results of this study show the limitless possibilities available in states like Minnesota that place such value on education,” BSU and NTC President Faith C. Hensrud said. “We’re committed to providing opportunities for all Minnesotans to pursue an affordable, high-quality education so the doors to this level of economic prosperity remain open to everyone.”

The study was commissioned by Minnesota State and was conducted by Parker Philips, a nationally recognized consulting firm specializing in economic impact analysis.

“An economic contribution analysis is an objective way to measure the significance of an organization in the regional economy; it is a tool that policy makers can use to inform their decisions,” said Nichole Parker, a principal partner at Parker Philips.

The study considered the direct spending on operations, pay, benefits and capital projects and the estimated increase in demand for goods and services in industry sectors that supply or support BSU and NTC. The study also measured the effect of student spending and the induced effect of increased household income.

According to the study, this economic activity has a direct impact on the state’s labor market, as BSU and NTC either support or sustain an estimated total of 2,749 jobs in Minnesota. Those jobs include persons directly employed by both BSU and NTC, as well as indirect or induced jobs created by supply and equipment vendors, contractors and laborers for the construction and renovation of facilities, and jobs created in the community at hotels, restaurants and retail stores in support of the BSU/NTC faculty, staff, students and visitors.

“We are forging strong partnerships with business and industry that will help ensure we continue to meet their needs as they make their own efforts to support the state’s economy,” Hensrud said. “The level of impact BSU and NTC have on our region is only possible when we have strong relationships. In those relationships, our contribution becomes more than dollar value to an economy — we’re supporting others as they find their own ways to excel.”

The study also estimated that state and local tax revenues generated by this level of economic activity — which include sales, property, personal income and corporate income taxes — totaled nearly $18.3 million.

The study further estimated the value of the increase in productivity that the degrees awarded by BSU and NTC yield throughout the careers of their more than 1,200 graduates each year. Assuming a 40-year work life, the education received by these graduates will yield additional state income with a future value of $19 billion. Future value is adjusted to account for factors such as foregone income while attending school and migrating out of the state.

“Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are key assets in our community,” Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht said. “The fact that we are home to thousands of students and hundreds of staff and hundreds of faculty, all of these people are supporting our local economy and adding value to the city of Bemidji and the entire region.”

In total, Parker Phillips’ study estimated the combined impact of Minnesota State’s 30 colleges and seven state universities, plus the spending of its faculty,staff and students, is approximately $8 billion per year, which generates an estimated 67,717 Minnesota jobs.

An individual contribution report for BSU and NTC, along with complete results of the study, are available at