Walla Walla College Found to Contribute to the Economic Health of the Valley

April 01, 2003 | Bradley Nelson

A recent study found that Walla Walla College’s contribution to the surrounding communities is significant—to the tune of $103 million a year. The study, “The Economic Impact of Walla Walla College on the Blue Mountain Region,” was conducted by Kevin B. Stokes, a partner in Econ 500, an economic consulting firm, who has conducted similar studies for colleges and universities across the country.

The study specifically looked at the economic impact of the number of dollars spent by the college, its faculty, staff, students, and local alumni. Additional factors included the number of jobs created by the college and/or filled by its current students or alumni.

Walla Walla College, which was recently recognized for the 100th anniversary of its incorporation, is one of the region’s larger employers, and has an annual enrollment of approximately 1,850 students.

The presence of Walla Walla College has also led to the largest concentration of Seventh-day Adventists in the United States. A study released in 2002, “Religious Congregations and Membership: 2000,” reported that one out of every ten residents in Walla Walla County is a Seventh-day Adventist.

“We are proud of the role our college plays both in the economic vitality of our community as well as in the social and cultural life of region,” says Jon Dybdahl, president of Walla Walla College.

The complete economic impact study is available online at: http://www.wwc.edu/about-us/economic-impact/. •