Economic Impact of the Higher Education System of Oklahoma
According to a 2013 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. View the complete report, Oklahoma Public Higher Education: Economic and Social Impacts (PDF, 1.7m).
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 relocation or expansion to Oklahoma. WED partnered with Commerce and local chambers on 18 projects in FY 2014 related to information technology, energy research and development, advanced materials, aerospace, shared business services, and manufacturing. The average wage for FY 2014 successes is $42,776 for the 3,713 jobs created. The projects totaled approximately $1.1 billion in investments.