Local Economy Benefits from Ferrum College's $93 Million Impact
Study results show advantages from payroll, construction projects, student spending and cultural offerings.
Ferrum, Va. (June 21, 2012) – Ferrum College contributes in excess of $93 million annually to the local economy
according to the results of a recent study. The findings show a strong impact in
Franklin County, Roanoke and the surrounding region generated from student and employee
spending as well as philanthropy and the College’s day-to-day business activities.
“We have long known that the College is the ‘economic engine’ for western Franklin
County,” said Jennifer Braaten, Ferrum’s president. “Now, we can quantify this, and
show that our impact reaches even farther - north into Roanoke and south into Henry
County and Martinsville.”
The study revealed that Ferrum contributed over $28 million to the local economy during
the 2011-2012 timeframe in capital projects alone, including the construction of new
residence halls, the renovation of the Blue Ridge Institute, and construction of the
recently dedicated Hank Norton Athletic Center. Nearly all of the investment was
returned to the community through the use of local contractors and other vendors and
With just over 300 faculty and staff members, the College ranks among the largest
employers in Franklin County. The total $17 million annual payroll and benefits package
translates to a $23.5 million impact on the region. The study showed that employees
spent nearly $12 million annually in the immediate Franklin County area. Ferrum College
employees and students contributed close to $750,000 in charitable donations as well.
Grants, gifts, tuition, summer camps, athletics and other activities comprised a large
percentage of the total with $16 million attributed to those areas.
The economic benefits from Ferrum students were felt most strongly in the nearby town
of Rocky Mount with Roanoke a close second. The report showed student spending in
Roanoke was most likely to be focused on restaurants, entertainment and shopping.
The College’s cultural and artistic attractions, such as the Blue Ridge Institute
& Museum, the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre, and the College’s prominent position on Virginia’s
Crooked Road Music Trail generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue which
was then returned to the community.
“Because the arts are an important economic driver, colleges, with their array of
artistic and cultural offerings, are extremely important to the economy of the communities
where they are located,” said Kim Blair, Vice President for Institutional Advancement.
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