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United Tribes impact is $47 million

BISMARCK (UTN) - United Tribes Technical College brings millions of dollars into the economy of Bismarck-Mandan and surrounding areas of North Dakota.

      A study released September 1 by the college puts the figure at $46.7 million for the annual amount of direct and secondary benefits to the state's economy.

David M. Gipp
David M. Gipp, president, United Tribes Technical College, released a report September 1 showing the college's $47 million dollar economic impact on Bismarck-Mandan and North Dakota. UTN photo.

      "We are known primarily for the work we do in training and educating American Indian students," said David M. Gipp, UTTC president. "Often overlooked, however, is the contribution we make to the economic base of Bismarck-Mandan and the state."

      The college is in its 37th year of serving American Indian students and their families with post-secondary vocational and academic training.

      According to the study, the economic impact generated by UTTC during FY 2005 came primarily from external sources in the form of federal grants, tuition and fees, and student financial aid.

      All are considered new dollars coming into the local and state economy.

      UTTC is "an example of educational and training activities funded largely from out-of-state sources," wrote economist F. Larry Leistritz, North Dakota State University, in the report.

      The college's economic impact was analyzed using the well-known North Dakota Input/Output Model, devised by Leistritz and Dr. Randal C. Coon, and also used by the North Dakota University System.

      The model estimated that $31.1 million in secondary business volume was generated in the state from $15.6 million of direct spending received by the college.

      UTTC spending entered the economy through wages and salaries paid to 360 full time employees, non-salary expenditures for goods and services, student and visitor spending, and capital construction outlays.

      During the study period construction began on the new Lewis Goodhouse Wellness Center, providing employment for an estimated 52 construction workers, including 11 UTTC students employed by local contractors.

      "Recognizing our economic impact is a step toward understanding the importance of United Tribes Technical College and how tribal higher education is contributing to a healthy and vibrant community," said Gipp.

      A 2003 UTTC economic study using the same methodology indicated that about 95 percent of the college's direct economic impact occurred within the Bismarck-Mandan area. Assuming that is still the case, UTTC's estimated direct economic contribution to the local area was $14.6 million, with a total economic impact of $44.3 million.

      Adding to the prospect of continued spending in the local economy is the continuation of an upward trend in student enrollment and more work on college renovation and expansion plans. Enrollment for 2005-06 was 1,118, an increase of 26 percent over the previous academic year. Construction is underway on campus for a 24 unit apartment complex for married students and their families.

      "UTTC is likely to represent a significant portion of all Bismarck-Mandan public capital expenditures well into the future," wrote economist Tom Katus, Rapid City, SD, principal researcher and coordinator of the study.

      The report said the United Tribes International Powwow and related events, on the weekend after Labor Day, generate over $4.3 million in the area economy. The powwow is one of the largest activities hosted annually in Bismarck and one of the largest events of its kind in the nation.

      Also contributing to the economy are American Indian seminars, conferences and meetings hosted by the college throughout the year.

      In terms of staff size, UTTC is the 20th largest local employer of Bismarck's 30 businesses that have more than 200 employees.

      Over the past five years, the Bush Administration has declined to include funding for UTTC in the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs budget. The college had been a line item in the BIA budget since the early 1980s. Although Congress has restored funding four years in a row, an appropriation is pending for FY 2007, which begins October 1.

      If you would like to view the full text of the economic impact study, you may click the following link to download the file in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. PLEASE NOTE: This is a large file (approximately 11.5 MB in size), and may take a very long time to download - especially on slower connections.

2006 Economic Impact Study - Full Text (2006_Econ_Impact_Book.pdf - 11.5 MB)

  The above file is an Adobe Acrobat file and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it. If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, the newest version can be downloaded for free from Adobe.


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