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Economic Impact Report Confirms Rensselaer's Role as a "Major Regional Enterprise"

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July 29, 2003

Economic Impact Report Confirms Rensselaer's Role as a "Major Regional Enterprise"

Troy, N.Y. - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a major and growing regional enterprise that is pumping nearly half a billion dollars into the state economy annually, according to an independent analysis released today by Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson.

"Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is on the move. Our campus, our community, and our state are benefiting from the great progress we are making here at Rensselaer," President Jackson said. "Just look at the Biotechnology building going up, the student resident halls being renovated, and the area neighborhoods being revitalized, or ask the construction workers coming to campus, the electrical contractors on the job, or the suppliers pouring concrete."

Rensselaer's operations pumped $467 million into New York's economy, supported more than 3,250 jobs statewide, and helped boost a wide range of activities including construction, academic research, consumer spending, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood renewal initiatives, according to the analysis by Appleseed Inc. released today. In the Capital Region alone, the Institute poured $428 million into local businesses and financial systems, and employed more than 3,100 residents.

"Rensselaer's investment is paying off for the Capital Region as well as the Institute," Jackson said. "As we move forward to realize further the promise of The Rensselaer Plan , we can be confident that our work is not only changing the world, it is changing the Capital Region."

The Capital Region benefits from Rensselaer's direct spending on payroll, purchasing, and construction, from the secondary benefit of Rensselaer employees spending their salaries on housing, food, and other living expenses, and from the added benefit of companies in the region from which Rensselaer buys goods and services who spend money locally to pay their own employees and suppliers, according to Appleseed.

For example, Rensselaer is projected to spend an average of $65 million annually on construction for the next three years and generate 450 full-time equivalent construction jobs each year. As the 14th largest non-governmental employer in the area, payroll for faculty and staff working at Rensselaer's Troy campus totaled $108 million. The total impact of student spending was calculated to be in excess of $30 million in 2001.

The report - titled "The Impact of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the Economy of the Capital Region and New York State" - details the Institute's enormous economic influence in the Capital Region and beyond. It explores Rensselaer's growth as "a major regional enterprise," and describes the university's leading role in research, business development initiatives, and strong relationships with various local groups.

"Since its founding in the early 19th century, Rensselaer has always been and will continue to be inextricably tied to the city of Troy, the Capital Region and the state" said Jackson. "We are an enthusiastic community partner, and are proud to be an important part of the economic engine of this region."

About Appleseed Inc.
Appleseed Inc. is a New York City-based consulting firm with expertise in higher education and economic growth. Contact Hugh O'Neill, president, at 212-964-9711 or e-mail him at

NOTE: For a copy of the report click here or call the media relations office at (518) 276-6531.


Facts from the Appleseed report:

Between 2003 and 2006, Rensselaer will spend approximately $65 million on construction annually. The various construction projects will provide an estimated 450 full-time-equivalent jobs each year, as well as business opportunities for local contractors.

Research funding grew to $58.5 million in 2002, making Rensselaer the Capital Region's leading academic research center. Rensselaer is conducting leading-edge research in biotechnology, nanotechnology, integrated electronics, and polymer science.

Rensselaer employs nearly 2,000 people full and part-time (excluding students), making it the14th largest non-governmental employer in the Capital Region and the second largest in Troy. Payroll for faculty and staff working at the Troy campus totaled $108 million in 2001 and $111 million in 2002. The annual earnings of the university's full-time employees average more than $55,500.

More than 7,000 students each year pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences on Rensselaer's campus in Troy, N.Y. The impact of local spending by students on everything from the rental of off-campus apartments to purchases of food and personal items to entertainment is also significant. Appleseed calculated that the total impact of student spending was $30.6 million in the Capital Region and $31.6 million in New York state as a whole.

Rensselaer's Incubator Center - one of the first university-based facilities of its kind in the nation-has provided low-cost, flexible space and a wide range of business development services to more than 150 start-up companies since its founding in 1980. Of 120 corporations that graduated from the Incubator between 1984 and 2000, 80 percent are still in business, and 75 percent of them are located in the Capital Region.

The Rensselaer Technology Park sits on 1,250 acres of land in North Greenbush, N.Y., and boasts 1 million square feet of industrial, office, and research space. It is home to approximately 50 companies employing more than 2,300 people, with an annual payroll of more than $100 million.

Rensselaer joins in contributing to the physical and economic revitalization of Troy through the Troy Redevelopment Foundation. The organization has funded $3.2 million in local projects, including the establishment of a small-business revolving loan fund, the creation of a business improvement district and a visitor's center in downtown Troy, and a study of the Hoosick Street commercial corridor.

Contact: Theresa Bourgeois
Phone: (518) 276-2840


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.