LANSING – Privately-funded building and infrastructure projects at Michigan’s independent colleges and universities have a powerful economic effect on communities throughout the state according to a report issued by Michigan’s Independent Colleges and Universities.

During the past decade independent, non-profit colleges and universities have invested over $1 billion directly into capital improvements supporting nearly 6,500 jobs and $600 million in income for Michigan families including an additional $2 billion in economic contributions to the state.

“Our member institutions are all unique, but one thing they all share is the desire to provide students with the very best learning opportunities possible, and this report demonstrates that they are taking that responsibility very seriously,” said Jeff Abernathy, president of Alma College and chair of the MICU Board of Directors.

“Independent colleges and universities throughout the state are working to incorporate more technology, update lab facilities, and expand learning opportunities all to create a highly educated skilled workforce, and those efforts have a tangible positive impact on Michigan’s economy.

Efforts to expand opportunities for students show no sign of slowing. Planned projects now in the works at MICU member institutions total over $200 million for the next five years, creating at least 1,000 additional jobs and generating nearly $120 million in income for Michigan workers.

“One thing to keep in mind is that these projects are all funded with private investment, so there is no cost to students, their families, or taxpayers,” said Abernathy.  “What’s more, the facilities built are often used not only by the institution and its students, but also by residents in the local community. These projects are true partnerships benefiting students and local community residents alike.”

The full report, complete with descriptions of projects completed and currently underway at Michigan’s 26 non-profit colleges and universities, is available at