Economic Impact of the Higher Education System of Oklahoma
According to a new report from the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the estimated return on investment for Oklahoma public higher education is $4.72 for every $1 of state funding. The report also shows that the expenditures of the Oklahoma public higher education system generate $9.2 billion in economic output impacts in the state and support more than 85,000 Oklahoma jobs. In addition, on average, bachelor’s degree holders earn nearly twice as much and contribute twice the tax revenue as individuals whose education concluded at the high school graduate level. The report concludes that the enhanced economic productivity, stronger economic growth and reduced reliance on social programs achieved through higher education directly benefit government, industry and society. The complete report, "Oklahoma Public Higher Education: Economic and Social Impacts," is available at www.okstatechamber.com/
Making Place Matter
Making Place Matter (MPM), which began as a project of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, is designed to provide tools and practical insights for community and campus leaders as they seek to build partnerships to create a more vital and viable economy in their local and regional communities. Nationally, Oklahoma became the first state to promote statewide participation by our colleges and universities in the program.
The 2011 Making Place Matter (MPM) Conference brought together 175 participants representing 85 organizations including higher education institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations and private businesses from throughout Oklahoma to highlight successful partnerships utilized to support the framework for regional stewardship. The MPM conference hosted by the OSRHE, presented a national expert on the subject of higher education and public engagement to give practical insight into successful strategies for making community stewardship a reality. Additionally, the conference created a forum for community leaders throughout the state to share their regional perspectives. This forum of regional partners included representatives from local chambers of commerce, tribal governments, higher education institutions, and other economic development entities which established an opportunity to exchange best practices in effective collaboration using the MPM model. Furthermore, a panel of experts from private foundations enlightened conference participants about avenues to funding resources.
Oklahoma's higher education system is committed to growing Oklahoma businesses as well as recruiting companies to the state. To facilitate the connection between businesses and higher education institutions, the State Regents launched OKHigherEdConnect.org, an online searchable database of business resources available at Oklahoma's colleges and universities. This database is a handy informational tool that is both simple to use and thorough, with services ranging from tools to help people start a business or expand their customer base to customized corporate training programs. Customers can search for a particular service by type of service, by city and proximity to a city, and by institution and region of the state. Ideally, search results will direct them to the colleges or universities with the business resources that fit their need.
Individuals wanting to start a business, businesses needing a particular service, and economic developers searching for the perfect location are the targeted customers for the database. After selecting all the desired criteria and running the search, the results are shown on the screen and are available in two additional formats – a grid and exportable Excel spreadsheet. The database is provided by the State Regents as a mechanism to locate the available business support services at the various colleges and universities in the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education.
The Workforce and Economic Development (WED) Division of the State Regents provides project assistance to the Business Location Division of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, which is responsible for recruiting companies considering relocating or expanding to Oklahoma. WED partnered with Commerce on 16 projects in 2011 related to energy, advanced materials, aerospace, business services and manufacturing. Additionally, WED collaborated with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber for an Information Technology project with a potential 200 new jobs at an annual average wage of $40,000. The projects totaled $194 million in investment with an average wage of $47,965.