UJ impact is notable in city

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As classes begin this week at the University of Jamestown and the Community Block Party nears on Thursday, it’s a good time to note how important the university is to Jamestown.

The university has an economic impact on Jamestown year-round. The university reported it had a $75 million economic impact on Jamestown during the 2016-17 school year and said that number is consistent for the 2017-18 school year. Calculated by the UJ vice president of financial and business affairs and UJ president, the university said the impact was based on faculty and staff wages and benefits of $14.7 million during the 2016-17 school year. The university said it employed 713 full- and part-time workers during that time, including 408 students.

That places the university at No. 7 in the top employers in Stutsman County in 2017. That ranking is up from 10th place in 2011,according to Job Service North Dakota,  indicating the university is continuing to grow.

The university spends $5.4 million annually on other expenses in the community. That boosts other business, which in turn benefits employees of those businesses.

UJ estimates that its students also spent $4.9 million in the community. Some of those students, in turn, remain here after graduating, working and living in Jamestown.

Along with that financial impact, the university offers a variety of events during the year which have an entertainment benefit for residents such as plays, sports and other cultural events.

It’s no surprise that the university is key to the community financially and to its culture. The students live in our community and consume goods and services here. Some will become employees of businesses. Some will decide to stay after they graduate. The university employs instructors, administration and other workers. The facilities offer venues for sporting events and entertainment that the public can attend and enjoy.

The annual Community Block Party is scheduled on Thursday, Aug. 30, in downtown Jamestown. The party welcomes UJ students to Jamestown. UJ freshmen walk downtown as a group to visit booths and get to know what Jamestown can offer for resources, employment or simple fun. Residents find the event enjoyable, too.

Athletes came to the campus earlier this month to begin work. With classes starting this week, the economic impact has already begun for the current school year. It’s a significant boost to Jamestown, in more ways than one.