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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. 0000017b-d583-d84a-afff-fdd77fc70000Local support for Let's Talk Business comes from First Midwest Bank -- offering banking solutions for all stages of life. Online at onemidwest.com. Member FDIC.

Let's Talk Business: SEMO Serves As Economic Driver for Region

Southeast Missouri State University

This is the time of year we realize only eleven cities in the state of Missouri are fortunate enough to be home to one of these important economic drivers.

Cape is home to Southeast Missouri State University, founded in 1873. While Southeast’s primary purpose is to increase the human capital of its students, it also serves as a tremendous economic driver for the region.

One way the impact is felt is through its graduates. The latest U.S. Census tells us individuals in Missouri with a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $16,720 more per year than those with a high school diploma or GED. Given more than 37,000 graduates live in the 24 county region served by Southeast, this effect is estimated to be more than $600 million dollars per year. But that’s not all.

An economic impact study analyzed the annual spending of students, University employees, the University itself, and related construction projects. Results showed an annual economic impact of more than $1 million dollars for every 100 students enrolled at Southeast.

A deeper dive in to the spending habits of students shows the top five expenditure categories are groceries, rent, gasoline, dining out food and beverage, and vehicle related costs. And remember, these statistics cannot measure the quality of life benefits received through sporting events and the performing arts.

Certainly this fall will look a little different on campus, but never forget the importance of Southeast Missouri State University.

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