This Week in Jacksonville: Business Edition – UNF study reveals big economic impact for Northeast Florida

The University of North Florida makes a difference and makes an impact — at least that’s what an FY 2022 Economic Impact Study is proving.

On this episode of This Week in Jacksonville: Business Edition, we’re specifically talking about the public university’s economic impact on Northeast Florida.

President Moez Limayen unveiled economic study results — compiled by economist Albert Loh, the associate dean of Coggin College of Business — showed a massive impact in the previous year.

“We’re really thrilled to see that just for 2022, the economic impact of UNF was $1.375 billion,” Limayen said.

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The study looks at the impact of UNF through the lens of talent development, labor compensation, capital projects, along with student and visitor spending.

“So at a very high level, Kent, we measured by how much are we contributing to the economy of our region and our state,” Limayem said. “For example, we created nearly 8,000 jobs between faculty, staff, visitors and builders. That’s a lot.”

“We also measure how our students and graduates […] contribute to the economics of and the economy of our state and our region. So when you combine all of these, directly and indirectly, the number is very impressive,” he said.

The study finds UNF is the only public university in Jacksonville. Measured a year after graduation, UNF is number one among all state public universities with the highest percentage of graduates employed in Florida. That’s a key goal for higher educational institutions like UNF.

“Almost 80% of our students graduate and stay here in the state and make it much better. Also, more than 60% stay in our region right here. So we pride ourselves that you have to be the number one talent provider for businesses here.”

In this episode, UNF’s president talks extensively about preparing talent for the growing business community, and how partnerships hold the key. This fall, UNF hosted symposiums on healthcare and FinTech. This week, the school announced a new collaboration with JEA, hosting a ribbon cutting for the new JEA Sustainable Solutions Lab.

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