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economic impact study

Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) 55th Anniversary Economic Impact Study Released

$7.5 Billion Impact in FY 2019 on the regional economy

Dayton, OH: (05/01/2023) The Strategic Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) released its Economic Impact Study today, which reveals how Ohio’s regional economy has benefitted from area colleges and universities. The study assesses spending by SOCHE’s members in their respective operations and capital expansions, as well as through research funding, donations, and additional spending by outside visitors and students. The Economic Impact Study included 22 colleges and universities, affecting a twenty-one-county footprint and was conducted for SOCHE by the University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center.

The total economic impact of SOCHE’s member institutions was $7.5 billion in fiscal year 2019. A total of $7.5 billion in economic output was generated in the SOCHE Region during fiscal year 2019. Of the total economic impact, ongoing Institutional operations comprised 64.4 percent, one-time capital expenditures comprised 4.8 percent, and student spending comprised 30.9 percent. This activity has a significant and cumulative impact on the economic health of southwestern Ohio.

“The collective economic impact of SOCHE’s members is not only measured in jobs, wages, and economic activity,” said Cassie Barlow, president of SOCHE. “Higher education institutions also provide research, consultancy, and services that support local, regional, and national businesses. Area colleges and universities impact the social and cultural environments of their respective communities. Equally important,

SOCHE’s member institutions are building the single greatest resource for our economy: human capital—talented, trained, engaged individuals,” Barlow emphasized. In fact, the SOCHE report indicates nearly 160,000 students are studying and living in the region. Furthermore, student tuition, research dollars, and alumni giving bring over $3.2 billion in new revenue to the region.

“SOCHE’s impact study reinforces the role of higher education as a regional economic driver,” explained Doreen Larson, president of Edison State Community College and chair of the SOCHE Board of Trustees. “Through changing times and economic climates, our two- and four-year institutions have continued to provide the quality training and education needed for individuals to better themselves, their careers, and their lives. Through internships, capstones, and other immersive work experiences, our students are connecting with in-demand industries and employers to advance our regional economy,” Larson added.

Higher education continues to serve as one of the region’s most valuable assets, increasingly focused on supporting regional industry, graduating more students into the workforce, and engaging students in public service and community welfare. Increasing the number and retention of students who earn post-secondary degrees and certificates has a significant impact upon many aspects of our local economy.

Building an educated and engaged workforce continues to generate economic dividends well into the future, further illustrating the importance of our regional higher education institutions. According to the report, SOCHE’s member colleges and universities awarded 31,643 degrees and certificates in 2016, helping raise the educational attainment levels of the state and meet the demand for higher paying jobs that require college degrees and certificates.

“Higher education in Ohio continues to support our globally competitive in demand industries with talented workforce, including Aerospace and Defense, Health Care, Education, Information Technology, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management to just name a few” said Chancellor Randy Gardner of the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Celebrating its 55th anniversary, SOCHE is the leader for higher collaboration, engaging with colleges, universities, and industry to transform the economy through education and employment.

Councils & Committees

SOCHE is dedicated to advancing higher education through active collaboration, resource and knowledge building, and effective professional development programs. To accomplish this, SOCHE administers 16 active Councils and Committees. The purpose of a SOCHE Council or Committee is to provide an opportunity for representatives from higher education to be a resource for one another, share information and best practices, identify common challenges, and, ultimately, broaden awareness of the resources, services, and activities in higher education. SOCHE is also dependent upon the Councils and Committees for substantial input on annual professional development programs.

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