Impact Study Shows Winthrop is a Driving Force in Local Economy

February 08, 2024

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Winthrop President Edward Serna ’02 said he requested the study so partners, donors and other stakeholders could appreciate the university’s value to the surrounding areas.
  • The university contributes heavily to the local economy, generating more than $200 million of activity in York County for 2023.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – As an integral part of York County, Winthrop University contributes heavily to the local economy, generating more than $200 million of activity in York County for 2023.

An economic impact study started last spring found that the institution, along with its faculty, staff and students, contribute greatly to the area. 

Winthrop President Edward Serna ’02 said he requested the study so partners, donors and other stakeholders could appreciate the university’s value to the surrounding areas. “As Winthrop begins to implement its new strategic plan this year, it was important to have a solid understanding of the impact of the institution,” he said. “As I anticipated, the results show Winthrop is an economic engine and a vital part of this community and region.”

The study was overseen by Nicholas Moellman, an assistant professor of economics, who utilized graduate and undergraduate student help.

Through a look at the university’s finances and surveys to students, campus visitors and businesses, the researchers found that Winthrop:

·       Generated over $200 million in new economic activity for York County.

·       Contributed to job growth by supporting nearly 2,500 jobs, many of those found in retail, housing and dining.

·       Added more than $33 million in new economic activity from its students.

·       Attracted visitors to campus who supplied $14 million to county businesses through purchase of food, gas and hotels.

·       Supported activity generating nearly $5 million in local and state tax revenues.

·       Produced well-prepared graduates for positions in a variety of workforce settings.

As the second largest four-year institution in the Charlotte metro area, Winthrop’s operating expenses were nearly $129 million in fiscal year 2023. The total economic impact generated was approximately 60 percent larger at $205 million in York County, S.C., alone, demonstrating the key role Winthrop plays in local economic development, workforce development, tourism and tax revenue.

“These are relatively conservative estimates. They do not account for the local spending that would be lost in the absence of Winthrop, instead capturing only new economic activity generated as a result of Winthrop’s presence, demonstrating the key role Winthrop plays in local economic development, workforce development, tourism and tax revenue,” Moellman said.

Helping with the study were Assistant Director of Data Support Jose Cervantes-Jimenez '23, as well as students Erica Gugliotti, David Urich and Ayden Lowman.

For more information, contact moellmann@winthrop.edu.

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