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October 05, 2010


DiNapoli: "Hire" Ed Industry Paying Off For New York

Report Finds Colleges, Universities Generated $62.2 Billion in Economic Activity

New York’s colleges and universities generated a total of $62.2 billion in economic activity last year, making higher education one of the most important economic sectors in the State, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. With 269 colleges and universities around the State employing 266,110 people, New York is home to the largest private higher education sector, and the third largest overall, in the nation.

“Higher education has been one of the most resilient sectors of the economy during this downturn,” DiNapoli said. “In many counties around the State, local colleges and universities are among the largest employers. It’s important to recognize that our higher educational institutions aren’t just turning out high-caliber students—they also play a vital community role as employers, cultural establishments and centers of technological innovation. New York’s competitive advantage in education helps us attract the best and brightest from every corner of the globe.”

"New York State must leverage the potential of its higher education system with its innovative research industry to foster the private-public partnership,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, head of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee. “Late last year a task force made recommendations on how to accomplish this and I commend Comptroller DiNapoli for his report.”

“It is highly encouraging that Comptroller DiNapoli has recognized the critical role higher education plays in New York State’s economy,” said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “It is our hope that higher education will take its rightful place in the state's economic development strategy, so that New York can harness this vast yet underutilized driver of innovation and opportunity.”

“I am enormously grateful to Comptroller DiNapoli for his report on higher education,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, chair of the Assembly’s committee on higher education. “I am not surprised by its findings. Higher Education is a superb economic driver for all of New York and deserves continued support to ensure our future.”

Campuses around the State enrolled more than 1.2 million students—nearly one-fifth of them in graduate schools—in 2009, according to DiNapoli’s report. That figure represented a 21.4 percent increase over the past decade. Colleges and universities added 32,470 jobs since 2001, most of them in private institutions.

Upstate communities in particular have benefitted from the presence of public and private campuses. Cornell University, Ithaca College and Tompkins-Cortland Community College, all located in Tompkins County, accounted for one-third of all local employment, the highest concentration in the State. Higher education jobs accounted for 10 percent of all jobs in Allegany and Madison counties, and more than seven percent of the jobs in Rensselaer, St. Lawrence and Cortland counties. More than 68,000 people work in higher education in Manhattan, the largest absolute number in the State.

DiNapoli’s report noted that universities in New York spent more than $4 billion on science and engineering research in 2008, nearly 8 percent of the nationwide total. Licensing agreements for drugs, medical devices and other intellectual property has become a lucrative source of revenue for schools, generating more than $380 million in licensing income in 2008. In that year alone, 42 start-up companies were formed using technologies licensed from New York schools, including 28 that had their primary place of business in New York.

Click here to read the full report.



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