University Heights, Buffalo, NY

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Interesting Articles on University Communities and the Economy

Kelly Evans writes in the Wall Street Journal that college towns continue to be regarded as recession-resistant even during this global economic down-turn. Those college towns who are surviving especially well are the major education centers and those areas with regional education based health-care centers. Colleges and college towns are experiencing some of the similar budget woes as the rest of the country, but, unemployment rates in college towns like Ames, Iowa; Logan, Utah; Morgantown, WV; Iowa City, Iowa; Manhattan, KS; and Lafayette, LA rank among the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

A "factor helping college towns: 'communiversity,' the current term for partnerships between universities and their home cities, such as joint economic development projects. The trend also reflects a shift in education to increasingly emphasize out-of-classroom learning, such as internships and volunteer work that by definition engages the community, according to Sal Rinella, president of the Society for College and University Planning in Los Angeles. 'We could actually call these town-gown partnerships a kind of new movement in American higher education,' he says. 'In the last 20 years or so, the boundaries between the cities and the universities have really begun to crumble'."

Forbes magazine added that they often
rank College Towns high on the FORBES' list of Best Places for Business and Careers. In fact,half of this year's top ten metros host big schools.Austin,Tex., Raleigh and Durham, N.C., Boulder, Colo. and Madison, Wis. all added jobs in the recession years of 1991 and 2001.Unfortunately, 2009 may present added difficulties to ALL, including college towns and for these, just breaking even with jobs and business will be a success.

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