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Northern College’s impact is bigger than you think

Study reveals college generates millions in spending in northeast
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NorthernC Haileybury
Northern College's Haileybury campus.

Northern College has a $125-million impact on the regional economy, according to a study released by the school on its economic and societal contribution to northeastern Ontario.

The college hired Emsi Labor Market Analytics to take a deep dive into the school’s economic impact in the Cochrane and Temiskaming districts. 

The applied arts and technology college has campuses in Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Haileybury and Moosonee on the James Bay coast.

After a year of study, the U.S. consultants provided an impact analysis, which college president Fred Gibbons insists they’ll take “every opportunity to highlight” in an awareness campaign.

“Intuitively, we know that Northern College has a dramatic economic impact within the communities it serves, however intuition needed to be borne out by an objective third party, skilled at economic impact assessment,” said Gibbons in a Sept. 7 news release.

That multi-million-dollar regional impact equates to 1,165 jobs, which accounts for 2.4 per cent of the gross regional product.

According to the analysis, this places Northern as the 11th largest “industry” in the region.

The college’s annual payroll for its 508 employees amounts to more than $29 million.

Of the 487 students attending Northern from outside the region, they account for an estimated $1.6 million in new spending.

As they continue to recruit further afield, the college expects those numbers to improve as 72 per cent of students attending class at the four campuses tend to stay in the region after graduation.

To the college, “this high rate of retention has contributed to a gross economic contribution from Northern College alumni in the region of almost $86 million across multiple industries.” 

Gibbons said attracting and retaining students is important for both the college’s and the region’s sustainability, growth and diversification. 

“Our highly skilled graduates are in demand by local employers and this in turn contributes to the sustainability of local businesses, industry and our communities.”