Higher education institutions are major employers, purchasers of goods and services, managers of real estate, and attractors of external investment. In short, they are huge drivers of the New England economy. But research on how higher education contributes to regional economies is often narrowly focused or too technical; a broader conversation on attracting new resources and improving the productivity of existing resources falls through the cracks. At a time when the goalposts are moving for the workforce, especially in terms of earning postsecondary degrees and credentials, understanding and supporting higher education’s contribution to the economy is crucial to maintaining regional competitiveness.
The first in a new series from the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), Higher Education’s Impact on the New England Economy: Investing in People explores how higher education fuels the regional economy through attracting, developing and retaining its most critical resource: its people.