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Study says VC makes $110.8 million yearly impact in region

ERICA RODRIGUEZ

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Jan. 24, 2011 at 7:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 26, 2011 at 7:27 p.m.


Victoria College president Tom Butler believes economic findings from a recent study are more important than ever.

An economic impact study announced Monday at the regular VC board meeting shows the school adds $110.8 million in yearly regional income because of its operations and higher incomes of former students.

"It gives us some ammunition to talk about why we're important," Butler said. "It goes beyond the educational value we bring the community."

The study explained the college adds $91.5 million to the regional workforce because students who are skilled and trained earn higher incomes and boost business. The college also adds $17.4 million from paying faculty and staff, operating and capital expenditures.

Butler believes the numbers are significant as educators are faced with dire budget cuts.

"It shows we make a really significant economic contribution over and above the educational contribution," he said. "So why would you want to invest less from the educational standpoint and the economic standpoint."

Butler said the first draft of the state budget zeros out future student state financial aid and funding to help the school's nursing program. The first draft shows the college would lose $571,000 of grants and state aid.

The study also estimated the school's 2008-09 class will save the state $1.1 million because of decreased crime, unemployment and welfare spending.

In other action, the board approved a $42,492.53 construction project to add sidewalks, a handicap accessible bus stops and a crosswalk across Red River Street from the campus to Citizens Medical Center.

Corrected Jan. 26, 2011

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