The University of Rochester's Impact, By the Numbers
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"We've been here for 32 years,” said Pete Psyllos.
Psyllos has seen Rochester's economy shift quite a bit over those years.
"A lot of things have changed since 1980."
At the time, Kodak was the area's largest employer. Now and for the past several years, it’s been the University of Rochester.
“We've noticed over the years, the university grows and expands, and that’s impacted our business throughout the years."
The owner of The Distillery, and Pellegrino’s right next door, he knows just how much students, faculty, employees and others from the university mean to the local economy.
"It's good to be close by because a lot of the staff and students make The Distillery or Pellegrino’s their go-to-place."
"We live in the community and we want Rochester to thrive,” said Joel Seligman, University of Rochester president.
The U of R has released a report, drafted by the Center for Governmental Research, which tallies the U of R's impact on the region:
- More than 20,000 full-time jobs.
- Purchases of good and services totaling $144 million dollars last year.
- $217 million in capital improvements over a five year period.
- Sales, personal income and local property taxes generated: $143 million.
"It measures growth, it identifies areas where we think we like the community also to appreciate; we’ve made some difference in the community," Seligman said.
Seligman says the university knows its role in the growth of the region's economy. That includes growth in the school's footprint. A new residence hall is one of many projects underway on campus. The proposed College Town project is close. The deal's not signed, but prep work is already underway.
"When I say I'm highly optimistic that’s code for I’m highly optimistic,” Seligman said.
The U of R has CGR conduct the economic impact survey every two years. Seligman says the reason is simple.
"It's a periodic report card."
Seligman gives the university high grades.
“We notice a difference when they're not in session,” Psyllos said.
Surrounding businesses which benefit from students, faculty, employees, and all they bring certainly won't argue against that.
"The U of R is the biggest employer, and we're happy we're in their backyard,” said Psyllos.