The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott campus was estimated to have an economic impact of $392 million across Arizona this past year. That’s an increase of 41% in the past four years, according to a report released by the independent Washington Economics Group in August.
What’s more, the university provides approximately 3,000 permanent jobs for residents throughout Arizona. That’s 38% more jobs than four years ago.
It is certainly a far cry from 42 years ago, when ERAU’s Prescott location started from a small rag-tag campus with 264 students and a handful of faculty and staff, to what now is a residential campus with approximately 3,000 students and hundreds of faculty and staff.
Today, ERAU is rated the world’s No. 1 aerospace and aeronautical university by U.S. News and World Report.
In Prescott and Yavapai County specifically, ERAU is rated a major and essential economic driver for the greater community. In the Greater Prescott community, the university helps support directly and indirectly about 2,853 jobs that result in $318 million of total economic impact. The Washington Economics Group estimates that ERAU’s activities added $173 million to the county’s GDP — gross domestic product (total value of goods and services produced).
The study projects that future ERAU cumulative capital spending plans during the next five years in Arizona will have a total economic impact of $161 million and create 181 jobs.
It’s estimated that ERAU alumni — Eagles — generated about $86 million in total economic activity in Arizona this year, according to the data.
The firm conducted a comprehensive study of the entire ERAU organization — the Arizona campus, the Daytona Beach, Florida, campus and the approximately 130 worldwide campus locations for the university. Overall, ERAU educates more than 33,500 students in degree programs that range from baccalaureate and master’s to doctoral degrees.
The Washington Economics Group is a consulting firm that specializes in analyzing emerging and global economies. Its report said the university is a “leading creator of high-wage employment in both state economies.”
ERAU President Barry Butler, whose main office is in Florida, was pleased with the reported economic impacts of the respective campuses.
Butler noted the Arizona and the Florida residential campuses, coupled with the influence of worldwide campuses and online courses, resulted in a combined overall impact of that now surpasses $2.3 billion.
Chancellor Anette Karlsson at the ERAU-Prescott campus said, “We’re so proud to call Arizona, especially Prescott, home. Not only is it important to us to provide quality employment for hundreds of Yavapai County residents, it’s also important for us to educate and graduate high-caliber students. They will go on to successful and rewarding high-paying careers. “
She said ERAU valued building community and industry relationships and looked forward to initiating further ones. “What’s good for Embry-Riddle is good for Prescott and good for our economy.”
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli praised ERAU and its direct and indirect financial impact.
“For more than 40 years, ERAU has made a substantial impact on Prescott,” he said. “Now, more than ever, we are grateful for not only the economic impact but also the university’s continued partnership with the City.”
Photo: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott Chancellor Anette Karlsson hopes the economic impact of the university continues to grow in the greater Quad City communities.