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College Has $322M Impact on Mohawk Valley Economy


A new economic impact study commissioned by the Albany-based Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) for its members found that Hamilton College’s estimated economic impact in the Mohawk Valley for 2016-17 totaled $322 million, nearly half of the total $683 million contributed by all private non-profit colleges in the Mohawk Valley. The figure includes direct spending by the college for wages and benefits, instruction, and operating and maintaining the physical plant. Other local CICU member institutions included in this study were Colgate University, St. Elizabeth’s College of Nursing, and Utica College.

The study, conducted by the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) in Rochester for CICU, estimated the college spent $8.4 million on construction and that spending by students and visitors totaled $18.3 million based on a statewide estimate. According to CGR, Hamilton employed 870 people, and the economic activity generated by the college resulted in more than 930 additional jobs in the region.

“Hamilton College has a sizable economic impact in the Village of Clinton and the Mohawk Valley,” said Vice President for Administration and Finance Karen Leach. “In addition to the spending by our employees and visitors, the college strives to patronize local businesses and hire local contractors and laborers.”

New York’s independent colleges and universities contributed $88.8 billion to the state’s economy in 2017, according to the report. The economic impact of these institutions has increased by 12 percent since 2015. More than 415,600 jobs are supported by private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. That number includes direct, indirect, and induced jobs and is a 2 percent increase from 2015. Employees of private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York paid an estimated $2.2 billion in state income tax and local sales tax annually. 

New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities educate nearly 500,000 students annually – 39 percent of the total college students enrolled in the state – and confer 50 percent of the bachelor’s degrees, 73 percent of the master’s degrees, and 79 percent of the doctoral and first professional degrees awarded in the state.

Founded in 1956, The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. 

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