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Statewide study shows Grand Valley State creates jobs and economic stability

Posted on December 10, 2013

A report by the Anderson Economic Group released today in Lansing shows Michigan’s public universities create jobs for more than 120,000 people and spur nearly $24 billion in economic activity in the state.

The report, commissioned by the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, shows Grand Valley State University employs nearly 2,400, is responsible for another 1,382 jobs, and provides a tremendous economic boost to the counties in which it has campuses.

The report looks at payroll and non-payroll spending, university spending and student spending. The non-payroll spending for Grand Valley looks at areas like construction, research and athletics. That totals nearly $158 million spent in Michigan, $178 million spent in total.

The student spending includes items like room and board, books, clothes and their off-campus meals and entertainment. That totals more than $330 million.

According to this AEG report, Grand Valley is responsible for a $1.2 billion economic footprint as part of the $24 billion total for all universities.

The report contains a complete county-by-county breakdown of economic activity.

“This report illustrates how important and relevant universities are to the state’s overall economic health,” Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas said. “Grand Valley and all of Michigan’s fine public universities give a remarkable return on investment to the people of this state. We also create economic opportunities and the talent that contribute to the vitality of our communities.”

Other notable findings:
-    Michigan has the 6th highest enrollment in public universities in the nation;
-    There are 1.3 million public university alumni living in Michigan, earning $47 billion in salaries and wages in 2012;
-    Public universities bring 121,000 jobs to the state; compared to the 150,000 jobs in automobile manufacturing in Michigan.

To see the full report, visit

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