A collaboration of six Raleigh colleges celebrated its 50th anniversary Monday with a party. But, since it was a school night, members of Cooperating Raleigh Colleges made sure to turn in their homework — a study detailing the economic impact of the participating institutions on the community.
The report by NC State economist Mike Walden is impressive. Combined, the six institutions contribute $9 billion to the county’s economy annually, accounting for almost 219,000 jobs. That translates into 40 percent of total employment and 22 percent of all earned income in Wake County.
CRC’s members include the state’s largest public university, NC State; its largest community college, Wake Tech; two historically black colleges, St. Augustine’s University and Shaw University; and pioneering liberal arts schools Meredith College and William Peace University.
At Monday’s event at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, Brian Ralph, president of the organization’s board of directors, said CRC’s many benefits extend beyond economic impacts. He noted that the collaboration allows students to attend classes and events at any CRC institution, share libraries and other resources, and participate in a variety of study abroad opportunities. It also builds bridges between faculty and staff at the schools, offering workshops and networking events.
And, Ralph noted, CRC strengthens the bond between member schools and the local community, connecting with residents through the promotion of athletic, artistic and cultural events.
“Raleigh is an amazing college town,” he said.