UW–Platteville had an estimated $394 million economic impact in Wisconsin in 2011–12, including $275 million in southwest Wisconsin, according to a new study done by the university.
“These numbers clearly show the vital role UW–Platteville plays in the state and especially southwest Wisconsin,” said Chancellor Dennis J. Shields. “We are an economic anchor in this region that has not only been a source of stability in ever-changing times but has continued to grow and strengthen our area. We understand the importance of our role and value what we provide to our students and to our community.”
Total direct expenditures related to the university in southwest Wisconsin were $123 million, the study showed. Households of UW–Platteville employees spend an estimated $61.2 million for goods and services in Southwest Wisconsin, while students spent $50.4 million, and visitors $7.8 million. The university itself spent $3.1 million for supplies and capital equipment in the region and another $800,000 for building construction in the region.
The study was commissioned by UW–Platteville’s division of Administrative Services. Estimates were based on extensive surveys of UW–Platteville employees, students and business firms as well as on existing data.
Expenditures represented income to the region’s business firms, government agencies, nonprofits, etc. Those organizations re-spent much of that money on wages, salaries, merchandise and services. UW–Platteville’s overall economic impact was estimated using the IMPLAN economic and modeling system developed by MIG Inc. (See www.IMPLAN.com for more information.)
Cathy Riedl-Farrey, UW–Platteville’s comptroller and director of Financial Services, said the university conducts these studies every four to five years. The 2011–12 numbers represented a large increase from the previous study, she said.
“This report really reflects our growth,” she said. “We’ve had growth in students, and we’ve had growth in staff. I wasn’t too surprised to see that our numbers were higher.”
UW–Platteville is the fastest growing comprehensive institution in the UW System, with undergraduate enrollment at 7,800 (including distance education students) and 8,600 overall. The university has nearly 7,500 on-campus students.
In addition to the spending in southwest Wisconsin, UW–Platteville has a direct impact on employment in the area, creating 5,900 jobs statewide, the study showed.
“The job impact is important, and sometimes it’s forgotten how much economic development is driven by our core function of education,” said Robert Cramer, vice chancellor for Administrative Services. “UW–Platteville is responsible for creating more than 4,300 jobs in this area alone. That’s very significant.
“Furthermore, the study reflects the benefit of a UW–Platteville degree for our students. When you graduate from UW–Platteville, you have a very bright future. At our job fairs, employers come from across the state of Wisconsin because they know the value of a UW–Platteville graduate.”
Cramer was also impressed with the tourism aspect of the report. He noted a 2013 Platteville Destination Assessment, which was conducted as a joint project among the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Bureau of Industry Relations and Services, and the community of Platteville.
“We estimate that people visiting the university spent $7.8 million. The tourism study identified UW–Platteville as the key resource,” he said. “Between the two reports, it shows how the institution has a very profound effect on attracting people to Platteville and the region.”