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Hudson Valley Community College Has $342 Million Economic Impact on Rensselaer County

Study conducted by Capital District Regional Planning Commission

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, December 9, 2004

Hudson Valley Community College has a $342 million annual economic impact on Rensselaer County, according to a recent study released by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission.

The study estimates that the area's largest public educational institution has a significant impact on the local economy and annually provides $73.5 million in household earnings for college employees and others affected by college operations in the county. The study used figures provided by Hudson Valley, including an annual payroll of $50 million and an annual capital construction budget estimate of $5 million. Fifty-one percent of Hudson Valley's 1,052 employees live in Rensselaer County.

"This study confirms the real impact our college has on the county, not only in jobs created and payroll but to the overall contribution our college makes to the Rensselaer County economy," said college President Marco J. Silvestri said.

This year, the college broke the 12,000-student mark for the first time in its history, enrolling 12,316 students in credit-bearing courses or programs, which represents an 8 percent increase over the 2003-04 academic year. Hudson Valley is now the fifth largest community college in the State University of New York system; prior to this year, it had been ranked seventh. Another 14,000 people take advantage of the college\'s non-credit and business and industry training offerings annually.

Hudson Valley also serves the largest number of undergraduates at a public institution in the Capital Region, and more Capital Region students choose Hudson Valley Community College than any other institution of higher education in the region. More than three times as many local undergraduates choose Hudson Valley compared to the University at Albany (9,891 versus 2,637 in Fall 2003), making the college the first choice for local students to begin their post-secondary education.

In addition, data from the SUNY Preliminary Enrollment Report for 2004 shows that Hudson Valley Community College accounted for 22 percent of the total student headcount growth across the State University system from 2003 to 2004. The college saw a growth of 742 students from Fall 2003 to Fall 2004.

"Hudson Valley Community College is one of the glittering gems of Rensselaer County, and its reputation from an educational perspective is well known," Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino said. "The results of this study conducted by the Capital District Planning Commission clearly demonstrate that not only are Hudson Valley's academic credentials beyond reproach, but their economic impact is a tremendous benefit to the County as well."

"There is no question that Hudson Valley Community College is one of the economic engines driving the Capital Region, educating the business leaders, inventors and investors of tomorrow," said Neil J. Kelleher, chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature.

"Hudson Valley Community College is a significant resource in Rensselaer County and the Tech Valley region," said Linda Hillman, president of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. "We are fortunate to have this valuable institution educating our future leaders and greatly contributing to the economic vitality of our county."

The economic impact study was calculated by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission using the Regional Industrial Multiplier System (RIMS) method, which was initially developed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the 1970s. The method, which is widely used in both the public and private sectors, has continually been improved and updated since its inception. The Department of Defense uses RIMS when estimating the regional impacts of changes in defense expenditures, and private sector analysts and economic development consultants use the model for estimating the impact of a new construction project.

"Educational institutions in Tech Valley are vital economic engines and drivers of innovation for technology and business," said Kelly Lovell, president/CEO of the Center for Economic Growth, a regional economic development organization. "Based on this study, Hudson Valley Community College clearly has a major economic impact not just in Rensselaer County but on Tech Valley as a whole."

The study does not take into account the influence made by Hudson Valley Community College graduates, which would be significant. Approximately 80 percent of Hudson Valley's nearly 60,000 alumni live in the Capital Region.

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission serves Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties with planning services. It was established in 1967 to support comprehensive regional planning work and provide a wide variety of other planning services.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.