2019 Economic Impact Report
An overview of the economic and community impact of St. John Fisher College on Monroe County, the Greater Rochester Area, and New York State.
St. John Fisher College is an independent, non-profit educational institution “in the Catholic tradition” located in Pittsford, New York (about seven miles east of Rochester). This report assesses, and where possible quantifies, St. John Fisher College’s economic and community impact on Monroe County, in the greater Rochester area and throughout New York state.
St. John Fisher College as an Enterprise
- In the fall of 2018, St. John Fisher College employed 891 people (excluding students), of whom 65 percent worked full-time. Salaries and wages paid to Fisher employees in fiscal year 2019 totaled $47.4 million.
- In the fall of 2018, 851 Fisher employees (95.5 percent of all non-student employees) lived in the Rochester area.
- From the fall of 2005 through the fall of 2018, non-student employment at Fisher increased by more than 36 percent.
- In fiscal year 2019, Fisher’s purchases of goods and services from Rochester-area businesses and its investment in construction and renovation of campus facilities directly supported 140 jobs with Rochester-area suppliers and contractors, with salaries and wages totaling more than $9.9 million.
- Taking into account both the direct and the indirect and induced (or “multiplier”) effects of Fisher’s spending on payroll, purchasing and construction, as well as off-campus spending by students and by visitors to the College, we estimate that in fiscal year 2019, Fisher directly and indirectly accounted for:
- 1,507 jobs in the Rochester area, with earnings totaling nearly $78.1 million
- $139.5 million in regional economic output
- Despite its tax-exempt status, St. John Fisher College directly accounted for $2.2 million in state and local government revenues in fiscal year 2019.
Contributing to the Development of New York’s Human Capital
- In the fall of 2018, 3,719 students (including 2,752 undergraduate and 967 graduate students) were enrolled at St. John Fisher College – an increase of 5.5 percent since the fall of 2005.
- More than 96 percent of all students enrolled at Fisher in the fall of 2018 were residents of New York state, including nearly 57 percent who were residents of the Rochester area.
- In fiscal year 2019, Fisher provided nearly $38.5 million in College-funded financial aid to undergraduate students, including more than $18.7 million to students from the Rochester area.
- Fisher offers undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in fields that are well aligned with some of New York’s leading industries and occupations, such as computer science, digital media, data science, accounting, finance, nursing and pharmacy.
- As of the summer of 2019, nearly 80 percent of all Fisher alumni lived in New York state, including 16,333 Fisher alumni (58.3 percent of all alumni) who lived in the Rochester area.
- As of 2018, an estimated 6.3 percent of all Monroe County residents who had earned a bachelor’s or higher degree were graduates of St. John Fisher College.
Civic and Community Engagement at Fisher
- During the 2018-19 academic year, 2,634 Fisher students spent a combined total of 421,461 hours working as volunteers in a wide range of community service programs. Many of these students work on a regular basis with one of the more than 80 schools, health care institutions and community organizations with which Fisher has ongoing partnerships.
- Volunteer community service at Fisher is not limited to students. During the 2018-19 academic year, Fisher reports that 235 faculty members and staff provided approximately 22,000 hours of volunteer work.
- Based on state-by-state estimates of the value of an hour of volunteer work published by Independent Sector, Appleseed estimates the value of volunteer community service work performed by Fisher students, faculty and staff totaled more than $13.38 million in 2018.
- Fisher students also engage with Rochester-area communities through community-engaged learning – courses that combine classroom learning with hands-on experience in the community. During the 2018-19 academic year, 1,076 Fisher students participated in 60 courses with a community-engaged learning component.
- In addition to the work that Fisher students do as volunteers, undergraduate and graduate students in Fisher’s education, nursing, mental health counseling and pharmacy programs are required as part of their professional training to gain practical, real-world work experience. During the 2018-19 academic year, Fisher students in these fields reported a total of 1,012,050 hours of work experience in schools, hospitals, community health and mental health centers, pharmacies and other community settings.
- Using the data from Independent Sector cited above, we estimate that the value of services provided by Fisher students as part of their professional training in these fields totaled $30.5 million in 2018.
- Fisher also helps to strengthen Rochester-area communities by working to build the capabilities of the small- and mid-sized non-profit institutions and organizations that help sustain these communities. The College’s Center for Community Engagement provides:
- Training for non-profit board members
- A five-course certificate in non-profit management, covering topics such as financial management, human resources and resource development
- A series of reports and other publications on governance and management of non-profits
A Growing Impact
In the years ahead, Fisher’s impact in the Rochester area and throughout the state is likely to be even greater than it is today. This is so for several reasons, including:
- Continued growth in the number of Fisher alumni living and working in the Rochester area and elsewhere in New York;
- Fisher’s demonstrated ability to develop and execute new degree programs that are responsive to the needs of the state’s evolving economy, and of its communities; and
- Fisher’s emergence as an anchor institution, increasingly involved in collective efforts to address community needs, and to ensure that Rochester is a safe, healthy, and vibrant place to live and work.