Pitt-Bradford is major a boost to economy, study shows

BRADFORD – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford is more than the major provider of higher education in a six-county area.A study shows that the college also boosts the economy.The study indicates that Pitt-Bradford contributed $67.5 million to the regional economy in 2011.Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of the college, said Wednesday that the study “confirms our impact on the region’s economy.”He discussed the study and other issues Wednesday at a 100-minute forum with area media representatives at the Frame-Westerberg Commons on campus.Dr. Sabina Deitrick prepared the 24-page economic impact study for Pitt-Bradford. She is the director of the Urban and Regional Analysis Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Christopher Briem and William Lafe assisted her with the report.According to the study, Pitt-Bradford contributed $39.7 million in “direct expenditures” to the region in 2011. Most of that total was spent in McKean County, the study shows.Pitt-Bradford students contributed another $10 million to the economy through “discretionary spending” and off-campus rentals. This total includes money spent on food and dining out.The $67.5-million boost to the economy includes the “direct expenditures,” the student spending “plus the indirect and induced effects created from these expenditures,” the study shows.As Alexander pointed out, the college also has invested heavily in the community through several construction projects on the campus in Bradford.He said the college has spent an “average” of $6.3 million per year on projects “over the last 10 years.” The college spent a peak of $12.7 million on construction projects in 2003, according to the study.Alexander said Pitt-Bradford also contributes to the local economy by “supporting” 740 jobs. This total includes 555 “direct” jobs at the college and 184 “indirect” jobs for people at companies that do substantial business with Pitt-Bradford.In addition to boosting the local economy, Pitt-Bradford also is educating students who remain to work in the region after receiving their college diploma.The study indicates that 55.6 percent of Pitt-Bradford graduates between December 2000 and August 2010 work in the six-county region.“Pitt-Bradford grads are in high demand and fill many positions,” the study shows.Alexander said the college’s “petroleum technology” program is producing graduates who are highly sought by the industry.He said Chevron recently hired three Pitt-Bradford graduates at a starting salary of $75,000 each.Alexander pointed out that Pitt-Bradford would be offering a course in petroleum technology at the Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties in St. Marys.The three-credit class will meet on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning next week. The class will cover energy requirements, geological issues, drilling practices, petroleum production and the role of petrochemicals.