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Impacting the Region's Future
* Introduction
Growing a Major Regional Enterprise
New Knowledge for a New Century
Translating New Ideas into New Business
Partnering for Success in an Ever-Changing Economy
Full Report: “The Impact of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the Economy of the Capital Region and New York State” (PDF format)
Growing a Major Regional Enterprise

Among its many roles in the community, Rensselaer is itself a major — and growing — regional enterprise. During fiscal year 2001, the most recent year data was available at the time of the study, Rensselaer’s revenues totaled $278 million. Between 1998 and 2001, total revenues grew by an average of 8 percent annually.

Much of this revenue stays within the region. Payroll for faculty and staff working at Rensselaer’s Troy campus totaled $108 million, of which $96 million was paid to residents of the Capital Region. Payments to Capital Region businesses for purchases of goods and services totaled an additional $26 million.

With 1,956 full- and part-time employees (excluding students), Rensselaer is the 14th-largest non-governmental employer in the Capital Region and the 2nd-largest in Troy. The annual earnings of full-time employees at Rensselaer averaged more than $55,500 — about 28 percent higher than the average for full-time workers in the Capital Region.

Rensselaer also contributes to the local economy through its sponsorship of major construction projects. Between 2003 and 2006, Rensselaer plans to spend approximately $65 million on construction each year. In addition to providing business opportunities for local contractors and approximately 450 full-time-equivalent construction jobs each year, Rensselaer’s construction program is building state-of-the art facilities that will keep the Capital Region at the forefront of new developments in the life sciences, nanotechnology, experimental media, and other disciplines that will shape the 21st century economy.

Rensselaer’s impact on the economy of the Capital Region is not limited to its local spending on payroll, purchasing, and construction. In communities throughout the region, Rensselaer’s employees spend their salaries on things such as housing, food, child care, transportation, and entertainment. Companies in the region from which Rensselaer buys goods and services also spend money locally to pay their own employees and suppliers. Through this recycling of Rensselaer’s spending, more than $119 million in economic activity and approximately 1,150 jobs at other businesses in the Capital Region were indirectly supported by Rensselaer.

The impact of local spending by students on everything from the rental of off-campus apartments to purchases of food and personal items to entertainment is also significant. Off-campus local spending by Rensselaer students is estimated to have totaled $23 million, over and above the amounts spent locally by Rensselaer itself. Taking into account the multiplier effect, the total impact of student spending was $30.6 million in the Capital Region and $31.6 million in New York state as a whole.

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