MARQUETTE, Michigan (WLUC) – More incoming students at Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech University could bring thousands of dollars to the US economy.
This year, the NMU recorded an increase in the number of first-year students by more than 10 percent, while MTU had its largest first-year course since 1982.
“It’s not just about the education they provide, it’s also about the economy,” said Marty Fittante, CEO of InvestUP.
Fittante says an MTU study shows that each student makes about $ 9,700 in the economy. If MTU increases its total enrollment by 102 students, it could mean $ 989,000 more to the local economy. Fittante says the focus now is on keeping these new students in the UP after college.
“How do we turn these learners into locals at the end of the day?” Said Fittante.
Fittante says universities are looking for ideas, including larger internship and apprenticeship programs.
After the students returned to the classroom less than a month ago, a restaurant in Marquette is already seeing its effects. The owner of Aubree says sales increased 60 percent this summer, but he had half the workforce. He says that NMU students help with this.
“It was huge. It was a huge relief, ”said Bryan French, owner of Aubree. “Now we have differences in training because we will probably train for the next three to four months. We’re starting to get some really good, fine people from Northern Michigan. “
French says Aubree’s is still hiring and says this is the time of year when the restaurant sees fewer tourists and more students and families from NMU.
Fittante says the surge in new students should be a relief for universities and the UP after an uncertain future during the pandemic.
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