Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: April 2, 2003

MIDDLEBURY, VT - A recent study completed by Northern Economic Consulting (NEC) of Westford shows that Middlebury College brings $125.2 million annually into the Middlebury town economy. Including information on employment, wages and tax revenues, the study states that in addition to the 1,253 faculty and staff jobs at Middlebury itself, the College’s presence in the area creates another 736 jobs in Addison County. The state treasury also collects $10.3 million in tax revenues as a result of the economic activity associated with the College.

The College hired NEC to conduct the study, which is based on a variety of information sources, including data from the State of Vermont, Middlebury College, and a survey of Middlebury College students. NEC compiled a similar document for the College in 1996. The 2003 study is available on the College’s Web site.

Middlebury College President John M. McCardell Jr. said that the study was an important tool for the College. “We know that we are a major economic force in the town and the region, but it’s important to have current data that explains the extent of this role. Also, we often receive inquiries regarding the details of our economic activity and this report helps us answer such questions,” said McCardell.

“When issues regarding the financial relationship between the town of Middlebury and the College arise, it’s important to have real data rather than opinions,” he added.

Middlebury College is the largest employer in the town of Middlebury and Addison County. Vermont Business Magazine’s 2002 list of the state’s top employers also ranked the College as the 13th largest employer.

As the study states, “Middlebury College brings money into the local economy through student tuition payments, student spending at local businesses, spending by visitors to the campus, research and grant money . and through a variety of other means.” The study measures the impact of this money on three levels:

  • The College affects the economy directly by paying wages and buying goods from local businesses.

  • The College’s presence in the community draws students, visitors and guests to local businesses. Students spent $675,900 on food and beverages at locations other than restaurants, and students’ visitors spent $963,000 on hotel rooms during the fall 2002 semester. An additional $781,400 is spent at hotels and restaurants by visitors at such alumni, student and parent events as reunions, graduation, homecoming and fall family weekends as well as by the more than 4,000 prospective students and their families who tour the campus each year.

  • The College’s impact is felt when its employees spend wages in Addison County—the College pays $45.6 million in wages to its Addison County employees, who receive another $13.7 million in employee benefits as part of their compensation package. An added indirect effect results when businesses spend revenue from the College at other local outlets. Addison County vendors sold $6.2 million in goods and services to Middlebury College in 2002.

The study also provides analysis of the total economic influence of the College, from what type of jobs are created as a result of the presence of the College in Addison County to the College’s impact on local wages. The largest number of jobs created—227—is in the services sector. The second highest number—172—is in the construction category and is an outcome of the College’s capital construction projects over the last decade, an average expenditure of $15 million per year. Other categories include finance, insurance and real estate. Employment created both directly and indirectly by the College accounts for one out of every seven jobs in Addison County. As the study also states, wages for Addison County jobs are higher as a result of the College’s presence since the demand for labor that the College creates causes competition among local businesses for employees.