WTAJ Originals: Study names Penn State an economic powerhouse

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A new study out of Penn State named the university system as an economic powerhouse.

According to the study, the Altoona campus contributed over $137 million to the state’s economy, plus almost 1,200 jobs, in 2017.

“It’s a very extensive study which demonstrates the impact not only of the Penn State system in the commonwealth but also the 24 campuses that are scattered throughout the commonwealth,” said Tim Kershner, Director of Strategic Communications at PSU Altoona. “I mean the individual impact on local economies is tremendous.”

The study also found the university system as a whole added $11.6 billion and 102,000 jobs to the state.

“It just demonstrates the reach of the university and how critical we are to the state economy,” said Peter Moran, Associate Dean Policy and Planning at PSU Altoona.

The school has conducted similar studies in the past, but Moran says the methods used in the newest one were a better   

“The time was right for us to really look at our data and see how we’re contributing to the land-grant mission which is to support the citizens and students of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and we believe this study does a good job of doing so,” said Moran.

The researchers looked the University’s spending on goods and services in the commonwealth, employee pay and benefits, among other things. The study found that for every dollar received from the state, the University returns $1.24 in tax payments to the Commonwealth.

“It’s important for people to understand that the support we receive from the state legislature is turned into economic benefits, and this study shows the economic benefits that that state support makes possible,” said Kershner.

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