Penn State York's economic impact tops $78 million

April 24, 2009

York, Pa. -- Penn State's impact extends well beyond its teaching and research. In fact, Penn State is Pennsylvania's largest economic engine, generating more than $17 billion a year in overall economic impact and supporting more than 67,000 jobs. Penn State York was responsible for more than $78 million of that amount and nearly 485 jobs in the region through its campus of more than 1,600 students.

In an independent report released April 23, data show that Penn State not only is fueling the growth of Pennsylvania by directly generating nearly $8.5 billion in economic impact but also influences an additional $8.7 billion through business services, research commercialization and the activities of alumni.

Penn State York’s total business impact for 2008 was $78,012,401. Penn State York’s spending for capital improvements, goods and services, and supplies for the year totaled $2,519,863; faculty, staff, and technical service employees spent $6,052,759; while students spent $19,396,239. In addition to the more than $19 million spent by Penn State York students, out-of-state visitors who attend conferences, sporting, cultural, and alumni events spent $9,985,811. Government revenue impact was $5,116,173.

“Penn State York is grateful to see the increase in our economic impact and we attribute much of it to audiences attracted to the campus by the many free and ticketed programs offered to the community, as well as students, faculty and staff, through the campus’ Pullo Family Performing Arts Center,” said Joel M. Rodney, chancellor at Penn State York. “Penn State York is proud to be a part of one of the great land-grant institutions in the country.”

Penn State contributes in a variety of ways to the vitality of Pennsylvania's economy. According to the report, the University generated more than 2 percent of the state's business volume or more than $1 out of every $50 dollars in the state's total economy. In addition, Penn State leverages its state funding. For every dollar invested in 2008 by the Commonwealth to support the operations of Penn State, the University returned $25.06 in economic impact to Pennsylvania.
The economic impact of Penn State’s operations and employment is only the first chapter in a powerful economic story that affects every community in the Commonwealth.

“Penn State was invited to come to York more than 80 years ago to enhance the capabilities of a group of engineers to benefit York’s industries at that time. In the intervening years as Penn State York evolved, our focus has always been on providing services to the industrial and business community,” said Rodney.

“Our degree programs in electrical engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, and our cutting-edge four-year electrical mechanical engineering technology program, as well as our programs in information sciences and technology, science, communication arts and sciences, business, and human development and family studies, have produced graduates who have established their careers and live their lives productively in York County, as have graduates of our program in English and our unique letters, arts and sciences program," he added. "Faculty and student research and consulting have added value in a very positive way in York.

"The many activities of Penn State York’s Office of Outreach and Continuing Education have not only impacted the business community but have touched the lives of thousands of York County residents of all ages," Rodney said.

Penn State York offers the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors, eight baccalaureate degrees, seven associate degrees, a master of education degree program, a variety of continuing education programs both credit and noncredit, and is the local connection for all the resources of Penn State. The campus also offers programs for youth including summer camps and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) preparation courses.

The four-month study by Pittsburgh-based Tripp Umbach indicates that Penn State's impact far outweighs other industries in the state. With the total direct, indirect and induced annual economic impact equaling more than $17 billion, the University currently creates more impact than the combined total impact of all of the state's airport hubs, professional sports teams, and arts and cultural organizations, by attracting nearly 1 million visitors and channeling more than $1.73 billion annually into Pennsylvania's economy.

Additional key findings in the 2009 Tripp Umbach report show that the University annually expends more than $700 million through its research activities. Research at Penn State supports more than 18,000 additional jobs in Pennsylvania, which generates more than $1.9 billion in additional economic impact and more than $61 million in additional revenue for the Commonwealth annually.

To view the report in its entirety, visit


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Last Updated April 23, 2009