The latest results of an analysis of the economic effects of Mesa State College confirm what’s long been obvious, and that’s the growing contributions of the college to the economy in Western Colorado.
Based on numbers from the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, Mesa State injected $176 million in direct contributions to the economy through student and college expenditures, capital construction and employee wages. Add the indirect effects of that money rippling through the economy and the estimated total economic effect of Mesa State exceeds $317 million. Growing student enrollment and a massive capital construction campaign that’s transformed the Grand Junction campus have added to the growing economic effects.
As important as those numbers are, however, the far more crucial role for Mesa State in bolstering the economy remains this: educating the work force. A better educated labor pool attracts businesses. Better educated individuals tend to earn higher wages over the course of their careers. Both of those factors drive economic development.
Western Colorado is fortunate in more ways than one to enjoy the effects of Mesa State College. Here’s hoping those effects keep on growing in coming years.