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Economic Impact

The benefits of a Wingate University education are real and significant but sometimes hard to quantify. One thing we can measure is the tangible impact the University has on the wider economy. As one of the fastest-growing universities in the nation, we are employing more and more people every year – faculty members, construction workers, food servers. Wingate students and alumni eat, buy gas and shop throughout Union County. And we bring visitors in for sporting and cultural events throughout the year. It all adds up to nearly 1,300 jobs supported and an added value of over $100 million a year in the county.



Wingate is number one in economic mobility among North Carolina independent universities.

$168 million


Economic activity generated by Wingate University in Union County during 2019, including direct, indirect and induced impacts.

Spending by University students supported 96 jobs and created $8.4 million in economic activity.
Spending by visitors to Wingate University supported 61 jobs and contributed $5.4 million in economic activity.

$104.6 million


Total value added by the University, an indicator of GDP, countywide.




Alumni living in the region supported 202 jobs and created over $25 million in economic activity.

1,293 jobs


The University and its alumni supported 1,293 jobs in Union County.


$14.6 million


Construction spending supported nearly $18.8 million in economic output and 137 jobs in Union County.

From Fiscal Year 2013/14 to Fiscal Year 2017/18, construction spending averaged $4.8 million and created $6.7 million in annual economic impact.

Making a difference, with data

Determining Wingate University’s economic impact on Union County was no easy task, but Wingate students were up for it. Working with professor Kristin Stowe, a group of business students used lateral thinking, spreadsheets and good old-fashioned hard work to calculate how much the University means to the county, at least in economic terms.

Much of the data came from publicly available sources, but the students had to do plenty of legwork on their own. How many extra dollars flow into the area on football game days? How many jobs has the construction of new dorms created over the past few years? What impact do commuter students have on the local economy? All of these questions required students to think outside the box and figure out the best way to find data that wasn’t readily available.

They then used software from economic-analysis firm Implan to extrapolate the data and compile their report, which will help the University sell itself to the wider world. It was impressive work, showing just how vital the University is to the area.

Read more about Stowe’s students’ work here.