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UVI’s Economic Impact: $83.5M

University of the Virgin Islands economic impact report front page

An independent economic assessment estimates that the University of the Virgin Islands has had an economic impact of $83.5 million on the territory in 2013. The 64-page report titled “Restoring Growth, Expanding Opportunity” was conducted in 2014 by Appleseed Inc., a New York-based economic development consulting firm. UVI commissioned the study to garner factual evidence of its impact on the territory and the Caribbean region.

Appleseed assessed UVI’s current impact on the economy of the U.S. Virgin Islands, highlighted a number of recent initiatives through which the University is seeking to strengthen the territory’s and the region’s economy, and briefly discussed several reasons why the University’s impact is likely to be even greater in the future than it is today.

“UVI has been an economic force for good in the Virgin Islands for many decades,” said UVI President David Hall. “This recent Economic Impact Report just demonstrates that the contribution to the territory is greatly enhanced and meaningful. The University is one of the best investments in the Virgin Islands for both private and public investors, and this report confirms that point.”  

According to the report, UVI is especially well-positioned to help the U.S. Virgin Islands and the region respond to economic challenges and return to a path of sustained economic growth. UVI is the territory’s only comprehensive degree-granting institution, its leading research center and one of its largest knowledge-based enterprises. 

“Through our research, entrepreneurship and economic development activities, UVI enhances the territory in numerous tangible and intangible ways,” said Dr. Hall. “Through the Small Business Development Center, the Research and Technology Park, the Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center, and the new entrepreneurship competition, UVI is contributing significant dollars to the economy.”

 “UVI is a prominent fixture of the Virgin Islands economy and as it continues to grow through business development and innovation opportunities, we foresee an even greater and more profound impact in the years to come,” said Dr. Haldane Davies, vice president for Business Development and Innovation.

According to the report, UVI is an essential and impressive engine of economic development for the Virgin Islands. The report estimates that in fiscal year 2013, spending by UVI on payroll, purchasing and construction, and off-campus spending by UVI students and visitors directly and indirectly accounted for 1,083 full-time-equivalent jobs in the territory, nearly $39 million in wages and salaries, and more than $83.5 million in territory-wide economic output.

The report also indicated that 77 percent of UVI graduates remain in the Virgin Islands and estimated that in 2013, the knowledge and skills acquired at the University by UVI graduates added about $48 million to the aggregate earnings of residents.

University research has been a growth enterprise at UVI, stated the report. Between 2002 and 2012, research spending grew by $25.7 million – an 84 percent increase. The University’s research is funded primarily through federal funds.

The “Restoring Growth, Expanding Opportunity” report:

  • provides an overview of the University and of the economy of the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • analyzes the University’s impact as a major territorial enterprise – a leading employer, a buyer of goods and services and sponsor of construction projects
  • assesses UVI’s role in the development of the territory’s human capital
  • examines the role of University research in the Virgin Islands economy
  • assesses the University’s support for entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development
  • describes multiple ways in which UVI is helping to strengthen communities and improve the quality of life in the Virgin Islands
  • highlights the University’s contributions to the development of the Eastern Caribbean region
  • includes a brief discussion of several reasons why the University’s impact on the Territory’s economy could be even greater during the next five to ten years than it is today

The full report can be found on the President’s section of the UVI website on under reports and speeches, or via this direct link Economic Impact Study. For more information contact the Office of the President at (340) 693-1000.