Evergreen’s economic impact: 1,637 jobs, $535 million in alumni earnings, $201.7 million in economic activity

SEM II exterior shot in summer

The Thurston Economic Development Council, the state-designated economic development agency for Thurston County, has released an economic impact report detailing the powerful contribution The Evergreen State College makes to the regional economy. The report finds that Evergreen generated $201.7 million worth of local economic activity in Thurston County, supported 1,637 local jobs and returned $4.68 back to the regional economy for every $1 in public investment during the 2016-2017 academic year.

The report details the value generated in economic activity and jobs that would be lost to Thurston County without the presence of Evergreen.

“The study confirmed to us the unique relationship that exists between a higher education and a community’s economic vibrancy.  Additionally, what we found is the different ways in which the school contributes to the economic vibrancy, resiliency and quality of life found here,” commented EDC Executive Director Michael Cade.

“Evergreen has played an integral role in the economy of the South Sound and the state for 50 years,” said Evergreen President George Bridges. “This EDC report documents the increasingly powerful impact Evergreen has on local business, government, and the quality of life for people across Washington.”

According to EDC research, the college’s contribution to local economic activity has grown 25 percent since 2012.

“We have known about the overwhelmingly positive contribution that Evergreen has had on Thurston County’s workforce, arts community and social culture for a long time. This report confirms that Evergreen, in addition to those contributions, is also extremely important to the economic health of our region,” said Gene Angel, Research Manager at the Thurston Economic Development Council.

The study also includes data and comments from an alumni survey conducted by the EDC, which reports that 96 percent of graduates had a positive or very positive experience while attending Evergreen. 

The full report and the executive summary are available to view at http://www.thurstonedc.com/evergreenimpact/