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February 17, 2009

SUNY’s Largest College of Applied Science and Technology Also Created 10,000 Jobs

fueling long island's economy Farmingdale State College has emerged as an increasingly important economic engine for Long Island and New York State, providing a $1.1 billion impact on the regional economy.  In addition, Farmingdale State's direct operating and capital expenditures have caused Long Island earnings to increase by an estimated $354 million and created more than 10,000 secondary jobs throughout the economy.

Those are among the key findings of a study—"Fueling the Long Island Economy: The Regional Impact of Farmingdale State College"—conducted by the Long Island Association, the largest business and advocacy organization in the region.  The LIA has over 5,000 members from business, labor, universities, government agencies, civic groups, and not-for-profits.

Farmingdale State was transformed into a full-fledged four-year, baccalaureate institution 15 years ago and is now the largest college of applied science and technology in the SUNY System.

"Farmingdale's upward trajectory in terms of enrollment, research, academic programs, industry partnerships, and our education and development of the workforce is benefiting all of Long Island," said Farmingdale State President W. Hubert Keen. "Simply put, our success becomes the region's success."

The LIA studied the College's four major operating units—the state purpose budget, the Educational Opportunity Center, the residence halls, and the summer program for the years 2002-03 to 2008-09—and estimated Farmingdale's economic impact in that period. Pearl M. Kamer, PhD, Chief Economist of the LIA, and a widely respected economic forecaster, author, and professor, conducted the 26-page study. Dr. Kamer also serves on the Board of Economic Advisors to the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee, the Board of Directors of the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park, and the Farmingdale State College Council.

The study estimated the College's economic impact to be $1,073,878,871 based on the latest industry-specific multipliers from the RIMS II input-output model of the Long Island economy.  The model was developed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Commerce Department. It traces inter-industry linkages within the Long Island economy and contains multipliers for output, earnings, and employment for the economy as a whole and for specific industry groups.  The report confirms that Farmingdale is "a significant economic entity" on Long Island.

According to Dr. Kamer, "Farmingdale State College supports the regional economy by providing a steady stream of well-qualified employees to serve local businesses, industries and the service sector.  Moreover, its direct expenditures contribute materially to economic activity on Long Island."

The study concluded that:

  • The College's operating and capital expenditures resulted in the creation of 10,098 jobs.
  • This job creation produced $354,373,162 in earnings increases.
  • The College provides "vital support" to Long Island's technology-intensive manufacturing sector. Graduates of Farmingdale's Mechanical Engineering Technology and Facility Management Technology play a key role in retaining technology-intensive manufacturing enterprises on Long Island and help them to expand.
  • The College equips students with the quantitative analytical skills needed in business, finance, government, research and nonprofit organizations.
  • Farmingdale will play a "pivotal" role in promoting future economic development.

In estimating the College's economic impact, the report also analyzed its research activities, student internships and clinical placements, and outreach to industry. Last year, for instance, 536 students from 15 different academic departments were involved in internships, clinical training, and guided research activity.

In addition, a survey conducted by the College's Career Development Center revealed that of the 120 companies nationwide who reported hiring Farmingdale graduates in 2007, 112 of the firms were located on Long Island. The Small Business Development Center at the College has also been an important component of economic development generated by the campus; since its inception, the SBDC has served more than 22,000 clients who have invested $247 million in the state economy, resulting in the creation of 11,236 jobs.

Farmingdale is a collaborator in the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center based at Stony Brook University, was the first college in the northeast to establish an accredited Solar Energy Center, and was awarded two U.S. patents in 2007 for its research in hydrogen fuel cell technology. It is SUNY's only college of applied science and technology in the Nassau-Suffolk-Queens region and the second largest four-year SUNY institution (after Stony Brook) in the Downstate region.

Farmingdale's total enrollment is 6,850 students, or 110 percent of its state-funded enrollment target. Its full-time enrollment has increased 62 percent since 2000; total enrollment has risen 36 percent in that period. The high school GPA of incoming baccalaureate students in fall 2008 was 86.8. The College offers 24 baccalaureate degrees and 10 associate degrees in many programs that are unique to the region—including Horticulture and Landscape Design, Security Systems, Applied Economics, Applied Psychology, and Dental Hygiene. In addition, Farmingdale offers the only Aviation program at a public college in the State.

"The results of the study lead to the inevitable conclusion that Farmingdale is a good investment," President Keen said. "We attract high-quality students, educate them at an affordable price, develop tomorrow's workforce, and have become a key factor in maintaining, and improving, the region's prosperity."

Access the full report here (pdf).