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Economic report showcases JCU’s impact in the community

January 24th, 2013

Drive down John Carroll Boulevard, and you will see a sign that reads, “University Heights: Home of John Carroll University, ‘The City’s Namesake.’” With the release of JCU’s annual report, the text on that sign can be explained on a deeper, statistical level.

The report, which can be found and downloaded from John Carroll’s home page, lists a handful of important statistics, some relating to the school itself, but others extending beyond the boundaries of its campus, focusing on its impact in the surrounding community.

The data, which includes JCU’s graduation rate of about 65 percent, enrollment numbers (3,700 students in the fall 2011) and number of majors offered (57) also lists statistics on number of alumni living in Northeast Ohio (21,298) and total employees provided by the University (1,990).

However, the document doesn’t stop there, as it dives into some eye-raising numbers in terms of contributions to the town of University Heights as a whole.  The report states that University spending in the fiscal year 2011 created 1,798 jobs for the area.  It also mentions an $893,815 of income tax revenue for the University, the largest source of such revenue in all of UH.  Perhaps the stoutest number of all, though, is the $127.2 million in total annual economic impact for the entire city of University Heights.

Mark, a manager of local restaurant Pizzazz in the front of JCU’s campus, echoed the report’s findings.  “The owner could probably be able to give you a better idea, but I would at least say no less than 25 percent [of our revenue is earned from John Carroll students], and I may even go as far as to say one third,” he said. “We do a lot of parties downstairs with sororities, and a lot of that stuff is donated too; but even still, people just coming in here for lunch in between class, that adds up over one fiscal year,” he added.

Geraci’s Restaurant on Warrensville Center Road  said that although most of their business is from the general community, they employ a lot of JCU students, and in order to encourage more consumers from JCU, they will be starting to accept “dining dollars” through students’ JCU IDs.

Nevertheless, both Pizzazz and Geraci’s emphasized that there are John Carroll students in their restaurants on a daily basis.

“I take full advantage of the vast amount of businesses, stores and restaurants in University Heights,”  junior Lindsay Eddingfield said. “I am a frequent customer at Dave’s Cosmic Subs and love going to the Target located very close to campus [too],” she added.

Although, as of late, some residents of University Heights have expressed their frustration and opinions of John Carroll’s role in their town, JCU’s annual report has come to its defense to start the new year.

Junior Jack Walton explained how he makes use of the local businesses, saying, “As a student I certainly enjoy taking advantage of all that University Heights has to offer – whether that be going to Pizzazz for wing night, getting my hair cut or dry cleaning done, there are many local businesses that I really enjoy going to,” he said.

“I think [the University’s contribution] is positive,” said Pizzazz manager Mark. “John Carroll pretty much is University Heights if you think about it; so I think it’s hugely positive for the city and Pizzazz Restaurant.”