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Study finds PFW large economic contributor to the region and state

April 25th, 2019

By Ashley Sloboda | The Journal Gazette

Purdue University Fort Wayne's ongoing impact on business activity statewide is an estimated $269.1 million annually, but its economic effects soar into the billions when considering employed alumni, a new study found.

The university contracted with The Perryman Group to assess its economic effect on the city, the 11-county region and the state. It announced the firm's findings Tuesday.

Most of the economic benefits are concentrated in northeast Indiana, the Texas firm found.

The report underscores the benefits a thriving university can have on the broader community, Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer said.

“While we have long known our university provides extraordinary economic and social benefits, it is gratifying to have the institution's impact quantified and confirmed by an independent third party,” Elsenbaumer said in a statement.

The $269.1 million in gross product includes $38.2 million in student and visitor spending on such items as housing and food. The remaining $230.9 million is associated with university operations, which have ripple effects in the economy, according to the report.

“For example, the university purchases needed goods and services from other firms in the local area, region and state, leading to additional business activity,” the report said. “As wages and salaries are spent, further economic benefits are generated.”

About 75% of the nearly 61,000 alumni – who attended the university when it was known as IPFW – live and work in Indiana, according to Purdue Fort Wayne.

Employed graduates annually generate an estimated $8.9 billion in gross product regionally and $11 billion statewide, the study found. It noted alumni generate about 102,000 jobs statewide, including about 48,000 in Fort Wayne.

Construction projects generate an estimated $328.4 million in gross product when considering recent, current and planned projects, the study said.

The 10-year capital plan calls for an engineering technology and computer science addition for advanced manufacturing and industrial technology; an addition to the Rhinehart Music Center; and a business leadership, career development and campus welcome center, the report said.

“This report clearly demonstrates the tremendous benefit Purdue Fort Wayne brings to northeast Indiana and the Indiana economy overall,” the school chancellor said.

“Our alumni, students, faculty and staff make up a large and highly educated workforce for our region and are constantly advancing innovation and new technologies,” he continued. “Their work helps make northeast Indiana an attractive place to earn a college degree and pursue a rewarding career.”

Click here to check out the full report.

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New Study Cites Purdue University Fort Wayne’s $8.9 Billion Impact on Northeast Indiana from Purdue University Fort Wayne