Lakeland’s annual economic impact exceeds $130 million

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April 29, 2021
Through alumni contributions, college operations and student spending, Lakeland College adds $130.6 million to the economy each year.
That’s the key finding of a study recently completed by Hanover Research. The research company analyzed Lakeland’s notable quantifiable and non-quantifiable contributions during the 2019-2020 academic year. 

“There are multiple ways Lakeland adds value. We offer foundational to degree programming. This attracts people to the region and provides local residents with access to post-secondary education without relocating,” says Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart, president and CEO of Lakeland College. 

She also noted that Lakeland alumni make significant long-term contributions to the workforce. As for Lakeland’s operations, the college is a major employer in the region and its operational spending on supplies and services benefits the economy. 

In a 2017 study, Lakeland’s economic impact was $120 million.

Alumni impact - $61 million

The analysis found that $61 million of the college’s economic contribution comes from the impact of Lakeland alumni. This figure includes estimated additional economic mobility and earnings power for graduates as a result of receiving a credential from Lakeland. The number also accounts for increased productivity in the businesses where alumni work.

“You’ll find Lakeland alumni working throughout our region, Alberta and beyond,” says Wainwright-Stewart, noting that 59 per cent of Lakeland alumni choose to remain and live in Alberta. 

“Our alumni are ag producers, pharmacists, accountants, and carpenters. They are power engineers, hairstylists, environmental technicians, educational assistants and firefighters. They are health care aides, design consultants, teachers, and welders who strengthen the workforce and enrich communities,” says Wainwright-Stewart. 

According to Hanover Research’s analysis, the average Lakeland alumnus earns just over $9,000 more per year than people without post-secondary education.

Student spending - $2.9 million

During the 2019-20 academic year, 3,298 people enrolled in credit programs at Lakeland. Almost 1,050 students completed their program during the year. Student spending on housing, food, travel, supplies and entertainment generated $2.9 million in revenue for the region.  

The study also identified the vital work Lakeland does in providing pathways to higher education. Examples include dual credit opportunities for high school students as well as foundational learning and academic upgrading initiatives to help adults prepare for employment or more education.

Lakeland operations - $66.7 million

Lakeland’s operations add $66.7 million to the economy. This figure includes spending on supplies and services, plus employment of more than 400 full-time employees, resulting in $42 million in salaries and benefits. Lakeland was named one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers in January, marking the fifth consecutive year the college was named a top employer.

Lakeland also supports the economy through its applied research efforts, particularly in crop, livestock and agriculture technology. The college’s facilities are also crucial to the region. In typical years, facilities such as recreation centres, performing arts theatres, residences, Equine Centre and other buildings and rooms are used by community members, businesses and organizations.

“Lakeland's value to our region and Alberta is indispensable. We help drive economic growth and rural sustainability,” said Wainwright-Stewart. 
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