Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 21, 2018

IW provides $55.1 million in regional economic impact

Feb 19, 2018

Iowa Wesleyan University contributes a $55.1 million annual economic impact in Southeast Iowa, according to a new study recently completed by Hanover Research of Arlington, Va.

The new study details the immense impact IW makes on the region in many ways including: delivering educational programming that impacts the community and region as suppliers of a well-educated labor force, the direct university economic impact through its operations, as well as generating sales for local business and by drawing students and visitors to Southeast Iowa, as well as the added income generated by alumni who remain in Southeast Iowa after graduation.

“Global competition is increasingly regional in nature, and rural regions with comprehensive regional universities are uniquely advantaged,” said Charles W. Fluharty, IW Board of Trustee and President and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI). “Beyond the obvious economic impacts this study highlights, Iowa Wesleyan University is building the human, social and cultural capital of this region, and is poised to enhance these unique contributions to regional competitiveness. This region would be wise to assure these benefits are acknowledged and supported.”

With new student enrollment at Iowa Wesleyan up 162% over the last three years, the region is benefiting from the university’s growth each year.

“We are extremely grateful to the local community and region for their continued support as we have successfully completed a five-year strategic plan in three years. We are now embarking on a new and ambitious vision. IW’s U.S. News rank has soared from the 69th top college in the Midwest in 2015 to the 54th in 2017. By 2025, IW will rank among the top 25 colleges in the Midwest,” said Steve Titus, President of Iowa Wesleyan University. “We are aware that there is a direct correlation between the educational attainment of a community and the economic health and competitiveness of a community. IW remains committed to an excellent and affordable university education and we continue to work with our local and regional partners to provide opportunities for students of all ages and circumstances throughout the region.”

Key factors of the study include gross output, labor income, employment impact, annual earnings potential, alumni earnings potential, critical education programs addressing labor shortages, and community engagement, participation and civic involvement.

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