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$379 million: New report details UL Lafayette's impact on state economy

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette had a statewide economic impact of $379 million in fiscal year 2015.

For every $1 in state funds contributed to UL Lafayette’s budget, the University generated $6.83 in statewide economic impact.

Those are findings of an independent economic and community impact analysis conducted by Appleseed, a New York City-based consulting firm that provides economic research and analysis to government, nonprofit and corporate clients. Appleseed has performed economic impact studies for private and public universities such as Tulane, Harvard, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.

The report was commissioned by UL Lafayette President Dr. Joseph Savoie.

“This is a tool we can use for a variety of purposes. It paints a portrait of our strengths, as well as opportunities to contribute more to the state and region,” he said.

“As this report shows, the University is a significant contributor to the economic health of Acadiana and Louisiana. And it’s clear than state funds provided to UL Lafayette are an investment that pay measurable dividends. When state financial support to higher education institutions is reduced, the economic ramifications reach far beyond the campuses.”

The University affects the economy in many ways, such as through direct and indirect employment, the purchase of goods and services, technology transfer, and education of the future workforce.

Savoie noted that Appleseed determined that UL Lafayette contributes to Acadiana’s economy through the preservation and promotion of the region’s Cajun and Creole cultures. The University is involved in major cultural events, such as the annual Festivals Acadiens et Créoles and the yearly Festival International de Louisiane.

Community service performed by UL Lafayette students, faculty and staff can be quantified. In 2015, for example, it totaled about 332,200 hours, which is valued at more than $7.5 million, according to Appleseed.

Below are other findings included in the firm’s report. Unless otherwise noted, they are based on fiscal year 2015 data.

•  Combined annual earnings of Acadiana residents who hold UL Lafayette degrees are about $710 million higher than they would have been without that level of education.

•  UL Lafayette graduates increased Acadiana’s gross domestic product by about 9 percent, which is nearly $2.6 billion.

•  The University invested $56.5 million in construction projects, directly supporting 424 full-time-equivalent jobs in Acadiana.

•  UL Lafayette spent $40.1 million on purchases of goods and services from Louisiana businesses.

•  The University employed 1,919 people, excluding students; 92 percent held full-time positions.

•  University, student and visitor spending supported 5,525 jobs and had an overall economic output in Lafayette Parish of $492 million.

Read the complete study here.

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