The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

May 8, 2013

Study: GCC an economic plus

Medina Journal-Register — A recent report stated Genesee Community College’s economic impact on the region it serves is $169.1 million. GCC has two campus centers in Orleans County; one in Albion and one in Medina.

According to an update of the original report, those two centers have a $25.6 million impact on the county.

Nearly 1,300 students attended classes at GCC in the 2011-2012 school year, according to information provided by the college. Many county high schoolers also took advantage of GCC’s “Early Start” programs, aimed at giving them a chance to earn college credit before enrolling at a larger, private university. Roughly 400 students took advantage of the program, saving Orleans County families as much as $1.6 million in future college costs, according to GCC.

The study, conducted by Idaho-based Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.’s Dr. Kjell A Christopherson, was originally presented in mid-April in Batavia. His research examined the “effect of both short-term college-related spending and long-term economic contributions, including tax payments of current and former students,” according to the information provided. The model he used has been endorsed by independent economists.

Jim Simon, Associate Dean of GCC’s Albion and Medina Campus Centers, said some of the impact is obvious while other areas in which GCC’s presence is felt are tougher to estimate.

“Generally, by having campuses in Medina and Albion, we provide job positions and opportunities,” he said, noting the college staffs more than just professors. 

“Also, the students who take classes often live nearby,” he said. “Someone may be driving in from Lockport to take a class, and then stay to eat lunch or dinner at a restaurant in Albion or Medina.”

During any given semester the Albion and Medina Campus Centers offer about 100 courses and employ between 70 and 80 faculty and staff, Simon said. Students come from Orleans, Niagara, Monroe, and Genesee Counties, and those from the latter three help the Orleans County economy whenever they visit and fill their cars with gas, eat a meal, or stop at a store for groceries or a gift.

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