WINSTON-SALEM – Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood Robinson isn’t shy about describing the role WSSU plays in the Piedmont Triad’s economy.
“We really pride ourselves on being a regional institution, and by educating and creating the next workforce – that’s what we do here,” Robinson says in the accompanying video.
Though one study calculated WSSU’s economic impact at $290 million, he says, a more recent study by a WSSU professor incorporated the additional earnings of WSSU alumni and calculated the impact at $420 million. WSSU has almost 12,000 alumni living in the 10-county region.
“Those folks work, they earn a living, they pay taxes, they have an overall economic impact on the region,” Robinson says.
So do WSSU’s students. The university’s strategic plan calls for students to participate in “High Impact Practices” such as internships, undergraduate research, independent study and study abroad.
Last year 2,444 students – almost 60% of WSSU undergraduates – participated. And the students themselves created a $1.2 million impact on the local economy, Robinson says.