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CMU Announces Major Economic Milestone

University joined by business leaders to announce 2021 regional impact study

CMU President Tim Foster joined Grand Junction Area Chamber CEO Diane Schwenke and Grand Junction Economic Partnership Executive Director Robin Brown to announce a regional impact study highlighting economic contributions from the university that exceed half a billion dollars.


Of the $539 million in economic contribution generated by CMU in 2019-20, $129 million is a direct result of student spending and $34 million is direct spending by the university. The announcement occurred after Foster communicated his pending retirement from CMU. Much of the report reflects the growth of CMU that occurred during his tenure.  

“When we talk about our mission, we always talk first about students. It’s therefore not surprising the first thing we speak about in our economic impact report is the remarkable contributions made by students when it comes to supporting local businesses," said CMU President Tim Foster. "Beyond their economic impacts, the human contributions to our culture and community are what I am most proud of when speaking about the study."

The economic impact study is released on a bi-annual basis and helps community leaders plan for the future and assess their own needs based on what CMU is creating within the local economy. The report supplements the university business department’s quarterly economic impact assessment led by Associate Professor of Economics Nathan Perry, PhD. The quarterly report doesn't focus on CMU’s direct contribution like the impact study does, but instead provides a comprehensive economic analysis on the regional economy as a whole including Delta, Montrose and Mesa counties. 

During the announcement, Schwenke discussed the importance of CMU and the chamber's partnership around internships and employment, and also echoed the sentiments of Foster by highlighting student benefits. During the conversation, Schwenke described the growing number of students and their benefits to local businesses.

"To put it in perspective, there are as many CMU students in the community as there are residents in the city of Fruita," said Schwenke. 

While Schwenke and Foster spoke about employment and benefits to local businesses, Brown emphasized the importance of CMU when it comes to recruiting new businesses to the community. Brown said that she would find it difficult to find a businesses that didn't value having CMU in the community.

"When I think back to the prospects we have had over the last few years, it's hard to think of a single company who didn't see CMU as a key consideration for their relocation decision," said Brown.

Electronic copies of the 2021 Regional Impact Study can be downloaded here.


Written by David Ludlam