The Evergreen State College contributes substantially to the local and state economy, according to an economic impact report released by the Thurston Economic Development Council this month.

The report indicated that Evergreen was the source of $201.7 million in local economic activity, 1,637 jobs, $109 million in direct spending in Thurston County, and a return of $4.68 into the region for every $1 invested. According to the report, the college’s alumni have earned a collective $535 million.

“Evergreen has played an integral role in the economy of the South Sound and the state for 50 years,” said Evergreen President George Bridges. “This report documents the increasingly powerful impact Evergreen has on local business, government, and the quality of life for people across Washington.”

According to annual research by the EDC, the Olympia-based college has grown 25 percent since 2012 in local economic contribution.

“We have known about the overwhelmingly positive contribution that Evergreen has had on Thurston County’s workforce, arts community and social culture for a long time,” said Gene Angel, Thurston EDC Research Manager. “This report confirms that Evergreen, in addition to those contributions, is also extremely important to the economic health of our region.”

Evergreen isn’t the only college to advance regional economics. Colleges and universities across the nation not only promote growth in their local areas, but contribute to a more skilled and developed workforce.

“The study confirmed to us the unique relationship that exists between a higher education and a community’s economic vibrancy,” EDC Executive Director Michael Cade said.

The full report details local impacts, state impacts, volunteerism by students, and data and comments from an alumni survey. To review the full report and executive summary, visit The Evergreen State College’s website.