Page 1



by the numbers


Direct Spending

$122,590,000 Construction spending



Student and visitor spending

s a vibrant educational resource and a cultural magnet for residents, visitors and businesses, Union College is a key contributor to the vitality and economic vibrancy of the City of Schenectady and the entire Capital Region. As demonstrated in a recent report released by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), Union plays a significant role in driving the economy in Schenectady and the surrounding region. Almost $300 million in direct spending, employment, construction, and student and visitor impact is infused directly into the community each year. But the depth and breadth of Union’s contribution goes beyond its economic presence. The College is a hub of culture, innovation and creativity, fueled by Union students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners.

$20,530,000 Taxes generated


Includes New York state personal income tax revenue and state and local sales tax revenue.

Annual salary and benefits expenditure


8,720,000 Total impact on the region


Union impacts

3,538 alumni live in the Capital Region

business 2


alumni live in the City of Schenectady


Direct and indirect jobs supported


Source: CICU 2013 Economic Impact Study

employees living in the City of Schenectady


employees living in the Capital Region


Union educates the future workforce


nion educates the workforce that New York needs to compete in a global economy. Graduates from the College are essential to meeting the state’s human capital and workforce needs. In 2013–2014, Union conferred more than 500 degrees. About 40% of alumni stay in New York State and contribute to the economy in good paying jobs. According to a recent Forbes ranking, the earning power of Union graduates comes in at #6 among liberal arts colleges. A Payscale ranking puts the average salary for graduating seniors at around $50K.

CAPITAL REGION ALUMNI EMPLOYERS: • General Electric • New York State • Lockheed Martin Corporation • GE Global Research • The AYCO Company, L.P. • Schenectady City School District • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation • GLOBALFOUNDRIES • Ellis Hospital • Bank of America


Union partners with local businesses


rea businesses are eager to partner with Union in providing valuable internship opportunities to students. Union’s emphasis on applying ideas through practical experience ensures that students are highly-sought after by employers. The College’s prime location— just outside the state capital of Albany, in the heart of the Northeast’s “Tech Valley” region, and near the major waterways of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers—is invaluable. This central geography ensures internship opportunities in myriad fields, from science and business to government, technology and the arts. REGIONAL EMPLOYERS WHO HAVE OFFERED ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT: • Albany Institute of History & Art • Empire State Orchestra • Proctors Theater • Saratoga Performing Arts Center • The New York State Museum BUSINESS & FINANCE • AYCO Company, L.P. • Ballston Spa National Bank • BCI Construction Inc. • Key Bank • Morgan Stanley COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING • Pamal Broadcasting Ltd./Albany Broadcasting Company • Albany Times Union • Fox 23 WXXA-TV • WMHT ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY: • Ecovative Design LLC • General Electric • General Dynamics Electric Boat • GLOBALFOUNDRIES • Lockheed Martin


3,000 hours of community-based learning

Union provides health, healthcare-related support

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES INCLUDE: ENVIRONMENTAL • Albany Pine Bush Preserve Conservation • Capital District Community Gardens • Environment One Corporation (E/One) • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation • Parks & Trails New York HEALTH CARE & MEDICAL • Albany Medical College • American Cancer Society • American Red Cross of Northeastern NY • Community Care Physicians • Emergency Medical Associates LEGAL & PUBLIC AFFAIRS • Legal Aid Society • New York State Department of Criminal Justice • New York State Senate • New York State Office of the Attorney General • The Chamber of Schenectady County

Union College students provide muchneeded internship and clinical support to health and healthcare-related facilities around the Capital Region. Each year, between 25 to 30 health professions students engage in community-based learning for credit and put in approximately 3,000 hours of service to area facilities. Opportunities range from assisting physical therapists in Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital to providing direct care at the Joan Nicole Prince Home for terminally ill patients. Other partners include: Ellis Medicine, Clover Patch pre-school for children with disabilities, Day Haven Adult Day Services, Headstart and Senior and Long Term Care Services of Schenectady County. Union students also gain valuable healthcare-related experiences in 2 to 3 area private practices every year, where they provide support in a wide variety of capacities.

Union connects College community with area businesses The “A Taste of Schenectady” program, offered through Union’s Minerva Houses, brings local restaurants to campus each year to introduce and reintroduce students to area eateries. Restaurants are assigned to a Minerva kitchen to prepare samples and each year, over 750 students hop from Minerva to Minerva to taste-test the various foods.


Union impacts the Union welcomes visitors from around the state, country, world



he impact Union has on the region goes beyond its purchases, facilities, business opportunities and the jobs it creates. The College attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to campus for a variety of events, including admissions tours, concerts, conferences, reunions, homecoming, exhibits, and sporting events. Many of these visitors are from out of town and stay in local hotels and motels, dine in local restaurants and make purchases in retail establishments, boosting the local ecomnomy. In addition, these events add to the cultural vibrancy and quality of life in the region.





2,480 1,750 1,400 13,356

3,445 2,050 1,500 12,432

l Special events, conferences l Homecoming and Family Weekend l ReUnion l Admissions






economy $20,530,000 Student and visitor spending






Attendance at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center for the championship game. It was the sixth-highest championship game attendance all-time and the largest attendance for any game in Union hockey history.

Union athletics generate interest and exposure With 26 sports programs, Union College’s Athletics Department provides intercollegiate competition for over 600 studentathletes at the Division I and Division III levels. Drawing fans from around the region, Union athletics generates a significant economic impact as well as sense of pride to the community. Last year in particular, the local fans joined with the Union community in celebrating the men’s hockey program’s ‘Frozen Four’ NCAA Division I championship win. In the run-up to the celebration that followed the 7-4 championship victory over Minnesota, Union’s story captivated the nation with headlines, broadcasts and social media that reached millions coast-to-coast, providing a great deal of exposure for Schenectady. Thousands of fans visited campus and the city for the victory parade and city hall ceremony that was staged by Schenectady officials and business leaders.


Facebook users who viewed the most popular post (“National Champions!!!!!!!”)


Viewers who watched the championship game on ESPN

1.3 million Facebook users who received content about the Union hockey win

19.8 million

Readers of Sports Illustrated and that featured Union’s victory



Union is a cultural hub for the local community Union College artists and nationally and internationally acclaimed guest-artists share their talents with the campus and community, help to create a vibrant arts scene, and boost the region’s economic and cultural vitality. Many events are free, and all are open to the public.

UNION COLLEGE CONCERT SERIES For over 40 years, the Union College Concert Series has brought the world’s leading classical musicians to campus. One of the treasures of the College and of the region, the series, under the direction of Derek Delaney, has welcomed luminaries such as pianists Emanuel Ax, Jonathan Biss, Rafal Blechacz, and Jeremy Denk; tenor Ian Bostridge, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han; and the Emerson Quartet.

Union College Concert Series approximate total ticket sales (2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years)

AUDIENCES: local, regional and beyond

l Schenectady l Albany l Saratoga l Rensselaer l Other l Non-New York










7,700 40%








0 2013-14



MUSIC, THEATER AND DANCE PERFORMANCES Performing in packed houses every year, Union’s Theater and Dance Department hosts 4 major shows and 5 to 6 performance art experiences that draw close to 3,000 visitors to the area. The Music Department adds over 40 performances to the area’s vibrant arts calendar annually with the Union College Chorale, the Early Music Ensemble and the Taiko Ensemble. Currently, over 30 local musicians play alongside talented students in both the Jazz Ensemble and the Union orchestra, providing top-notch entertain-


ment to area music-lovers. Taylor Time!— a popular free ‘music to fit your schedule’ program—brings some of the nation’s leading artists to Schenectady. Recent performers include pianist and composer Leanne Rees, organist Stefan Kiessling and concert pianist Young Kim. For Gospel music lovers, the Union Gospel Choir performs three major on-campus concerts, and at a host of local invitation-only venues. They’re also on the program at the annual Proctor’s Gospel Jubilee, which draws around 700 fans.

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Shock and Awe, 2011, oil and acrylic on canvas, 72 x 48 inches, courtesy of Accola Griefen Gallery


Recent exhibitions include:

Located in the Nott Memorial—a National Historic Landmark and Union’s most iconic structure—the Mandeville Gallery offers an intimate venue for the some of the nation’s best-known artists and creative innovators. Free and open to the public, the gallery showcases an average of four exhibitions a year, several of which include artist presentations or guest lectures.

• Works by acclaimed Native American artist, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, featured oil paintings, prints, monotypes, intaglio and lithography. Her work is held in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Mankind in Vienna and many other prominent collections. • “Mot Juste: A celebration of text and language in contemporary visual arts,” was a three-part exhibition that explored the intersections between the humanities and the visual arts. It featured contemporary artists working in video, drawing, installation, film, bookmaking, photography, sculpture and printmaking. Mot Juste showcased internationally known artists such as Larry Rivers, Dieter Roth, Carolee Schneemann, Joseph Kosuth, Mona Hatoum and Tony Cokes.

+ 250

Mandeville Gallery visitors per month

UNION PROVIDES LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES For close to 27 years, Union College’s Academy for Lifelong Learning (UCALL) has provided area residents opportunities for intellectual development, cultural stimulation and social interaction. Participants are drawn primarily from Schenectady County, in addition to Albany, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer and Schoharie counties. Over the past three years, close to 1,600 community members have attended

36 courses and special events, including excursions, luncheons and book discussions. Recent programming highlights include “Musical Adversaries,” presented by Josef Schmee, the Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Management Emeritus at Union College; “Healthcare in America,” featuring Paul Milton, CEO of Ellis Medicine; and a cooking demonstration and dinner event, titled “An Enchanting Evening in Sicily.”


communi Union impacts the

Union provides philanthropic support


he College is an enthusiastic supporter of community service and activism. In 2013-14, close to 400 students, faculty and staff engaged in a range of projects, activities and programs through the Kenney Community Center, volunteering with organizations such as the Empty Bowls Project of Schenectady, City Mission, Catholic Charities and Habitat for Humanity. Founded in 2000, the Ralph and Marjorie Kenney Community Center coordinates a range of programs, activities and initiatives that serve Schenectady and the Capital Region through service and activism. Every year, students, faculty and staff partner with over 75 Schenectady based not-forprofits or community based organizations to provide volunteer and service assistance. Each fall, first-year students are introduced to one of the College’s most enduring goals: its commitment to community service. Through the Community Experience Pre-orientation Program, students are made aware of the range of available service opportunities. The intensive three-day experience puts close to 60 student volunteers in over 20 local organizations before the start of freshmen orientation. Recent opportunities include service at: Alpha Pregnancy Care Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension/Roots and Wisdom, Easy Street Horse Rescue, Flood Recovery Coalition, Glendale County Nursing Home, Heritage Home for Women,


Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Salvation Army, Schenectady ARC, and Schenectady Museum/miSci. Union has consistently earned recognition on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to the local community. The honor is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement. For example, in the past five years, Union’s United Way Workplace Challenge has raised over $50,000. Just this past year, the program allowed Union employees to help seniors, children and working families through 110 community programs and 58 agencies. Additionally, many members of the Union community share their leadership experience by serving on local boards, advisory groups and committees. Organizations served include the Schenectady County Community College, the Mighty Waters Commission, the Schenectady County Chamber, miSci and the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region.

+ 75

organizations served by

nity + 400


AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS: Free programs, including the Homework and Skills Development Program, Junior Science Program and the Arts Books and Crafts Program, provide elementary students with a range of services, from homework and skill development to computer and library access, and mentoring.



Kenney Community Center programs

ANNUAL UCARE DAY The Kenney Community Center’s annual UCARE Day, a free carnival for kids and their families held in June 2014, was one of Union’s biggest volunteer events of the year. UCARE, or Union Community Action Reaching Everyone, sponsors events that bring together the Schenectady and Union communities. Each year, UCARE Day draws more than 500 children and family members to the student-run games and activities. More than 100 students worked the event at Memorial Fieldhouse.

CAMPUS KITCHENS Student volunteers deliver excess food from the College’s dining hall and help prepare meals for the City Mission of Schenectady.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ENTRY PROGRAM (STEP) The Kenney Community Center provides a free intensive summer program that includes a three-week, hands-on research opportunity. The program offers laboratory experience, service opportunities, field trips and mentoring by Union College students and faculty. Over the past two years, the program has given almost 40 workshops for close to 100 historically underrepresented or economically disad­vantaged 7th-12th grade students.



student volunteers

1,202 Volunteer hours


Union students finish preparing tax returns as part of the College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. Now in it’s 10th year, VITA has helped secure nearly $4 million in state and federal refunds for local, low-income working families and senior citizens in the Union neighborhood. Mary O’Keeffe, a public policy economist who supervises the VITA program and teaches the College’s service-learning class, “Income Tax Policy and Practice,” was honored with a Jefferson Medal, the “Nobel Prize of public service,” at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

meals prepared

$4,000,000 state and federal tax refunds secured


Kenney Community Center programs, continued

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS INCLUDE: • Octopus’s Garden: Union’s organic garden provides produce to Schenectady’s City Mission kitchens. • Empty Bowls: Students raise funds and awareness for hunger issues in Schenectady. • IFYC/Better Together InterFaith Youth Core: Students from all faith backgrounds work together to provide community service. • Girl Scouts: Students assist with school-based troops. • Project Sunshine: Visits with those facing long or permanent hospital stays. • Girls, Inc.: Weekly program to help girls in areas schools with homework assignments. • COCOA House: Helps kids in a lowincome neighborhood with homework. • Big Brothers/Big Sisters: Mentoring local boys and girls.

GOOD EATS Funded in part by Union’s Minerva program, Good Eats coordinates with Schenectady ARC to cook and plan meals in Minerva kitchens with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. COLLEGE APPLICATION WEEK Union students, faculty and staff volunteer to host a fall College Application Week at Schenectady High School to help high-schoolers complete the necessary paperwork.


U-REBLOOM Flowers and plants used at Union events as centerpieces are regifted to those living in area nursing homes. Delivering the attractive arrangements facilitates friendly visits between Union student, faculty and staff volunteers and nursing home residents. Over the past two years, over 250 bouquets have been delivered.

Other efforts impacting the community HABITAT FOR HUMANITY GETS A HAND The 2013-14 women’s soccer team took a break from preseason workouts to assist Habitat for Humanity in the Van Vranken neighborhood near campus. Though they play on artificial turf at home, the team had no problems laying down the real stuff, helping convert a dirt lot into a grass yard at two Habitat houses.

WEB CAM WARNS OF POTENTIAL FLOODING Geology Professor John Garver was instrumental in helping create a new ice jam monitoring system along the Mohawk River. A unique collaboration between the U.S. Geological Society, the New York Power Authority, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Brookfield Renewable Power and Union College, the system gives emergency management, researchers and the general public a real-time view of the ice movement and includes gauges that precisely measure river levels to provide timely information to manage resources if there is a threat of flooding.

CLEANING UP THE CANAL Members of Sigma Phi fraternity take a break from clearing brush at Erie Canal Lock 23, a site that preserves the history of the waterway.

IF WE CAN’T RE-USE, DONATE The campus sustainability coordinator, Meghan Haley-Quigley ’11, is working to offer replaced equipment and furniture to other campus departments. If not re-used on campus, the items are donated to local organizations, including City Mission and Schenectady Home Furnishing.


Union’s impact on


wilderne preserva

ness ation

Union is catalyst for wilderness preservation


he Kelly Adirondack Center serves as a catalyst, linking Union College and the surrounding region with the Adirondacks, to advance research, education and cultural appreciation of American environmental history and wilderness preservation. Through its Adirondack Studies program, the center brings scholars, exhibits, and musicians to the Capital Region, creating a rich and interdisciplinary understanding of the Adirondacks. Most of the resources, events and activities associated with the center are free and open to the general public.








915 500

0 2012-13





To foster a closer academic relationship between Union and the larger community of scholars, students, and citizens interested in wilderness preservation, the Kelly Adirondack Center offers: • Adirondack Research Library: The library contains more than 15,000 items as well as extensive collections of maps, photographs, documents and the personal papers of some of the region’s foremost conservationists. It is considered the largest collection related to the Adirondacks outside of the Adirondack Park and significantly enhances Union’s own library collections. The research library is open to the public by appointment. • Out-of-classroom learning experiences: The center offers panels, presentations and other educational opportunities. The growing reputation of the Kelly Adirondack Center as a hub for wilderness preservation draws high-level environmental scholars, practitioners and researchers from across the country. • The center’s popular “Lunch and Learn Lecture Series” provides a venue for in-depth discussion and debate.


RECENT KEY ENVIRONMENTAL GUESTS INCLUDE: • Bill Weber, conservationist and author, discussed “Out of Africa. Into the Adirondacks.” • Martin Podskoch Lecture, author and historian, discussed “Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps.” • Joseph Martens, commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. • Andy Flynn, editor, Lake Placid News, discussed “Lake Placid: New York’s Olympic Village.” • Jim Murphy, economic development specialist, discussed “Micro-finance in the Adirondacks.” • Stephen Topper and Hallie Bond, a chef and an historian, discussed their book, A Taste of the Adirondacks. • Mike Kelly and Jeremy Farrell, environmental scholars and researchers, discussed, “The Jefferson Project at Lake George.”

• Meeting space and recreational venue: The center offers rental space and hiking and trail facilities. The 111-acre H.G. Reist Wildlife Sanctuary, which is open to the public from dawn to dusk and contains several miles of well-marked and maintained trails. The center complex also includes conference space, award-winning perennial gardens and a bluestone amphitheater that can be used for public lectures and musical events. These spaces can be rented for small gatherings and meetings. • Exhibits: The center provides an intimate venue for visual artists from around the state. Recent highlights include: – Matt Milless: Photographer – An Adirondack Aesthetic: Paintings of Lake George 1860-1890 – Historic Maps of the Adirondack Region – The Adirondacks: By the Light of Midnight by Mark Bowie • Newsletter: The center shares important Adirondack and center-related news, at least three times per year. The newsletter is distributed free of charge to the general public.

3,790 visitors to the Kelly Adirondack Center over the past three years

• Concert and musical performances: A range of musical and performance art events are held each year, drawing audiences from around the Capital Region to the center to hear some of the finest Adirondack-related musicians in the state. Recent highlights include: – Dan Berggren: “An Evening of Adirondack Songs and Stories” – Joe Bruchac: “Where the Peaks Meet the Sky: Stories and Songs of the Adirondacks” – Carol and Jim McCord: “The Singing Eye: Photos and Poems for the Adirondacks” – The Woodswoman Project: A tribute to Anne LaBastille at Proctors Theater



President Stephen C. Ainlay, Ph.D.


ince 1795, Union College has been a partner with the local community, the region and the State of New York. Our goal then—as it is now—was to give back to the region that supported our founding and continued growth in so many ways. I believe we have remained true to that philosophy and through the years, have worked hard to ensure our partnership with Schenectady and the Capital Region remains strong and vibrant. Union has educated thousands of students and enriched the lives of thousands of others, even those who have never set foot on our campus. We serve as an economic engine that supports and energizes business activity in the community, region and state. But our commitment goes even further. It’s in the enrichment of our community through a first-class concert series and a wealth of cultural activities. It’s in the free public lectures and presentations that bring some of the greatest minds of our generation to campus. And it’s in the number of leadership and volunteer hours our students, staff and faculty contribute to a broad range of organizations. While this report does not list every one of our programs and activities that impact the community, it offers a meaningful snapshot of our contributions—and commitment to the region—measured in financial terms and intellectual capital. Union is proud of its strong role in the region and the state and we are committed to being of even greater service well into the future.


807 Union Street Schenectady, NY 12308 w w w. u n i o n . e d u 042015

Union Economic Impact Report 2015  
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