On the heels of many transitions within the Town of Brunswick and Bowdoin College – from developments at the former Navy base and the consolidation of the area’s hospitals, to a new president at the college – comes the yearly assessment of how Bowdoin fits into the economic landscape.
The College’s Economic Impact study, which is updated annually each fall, showed Bowdoin to be the seventh-largest private employer in Cumberland County and the 25th largest in Maine, with a total payroll of nearly $70 million for the year ending June 30, 2015.
Of that, approximately $48.4 million was paid as salaries to residents of Brunswick and the surrounding communities. State income taxes collected from Bowdoin employees amounted to $3.1 million.
Even though the College is a non-profit organization, it pays real estate taxes on certain of its properties. The College was the 11th–largest taxpayer in the Town of Brunswick, paying nearly $219,000 in property taxes.
In terms of community re-investment, the College purchased more than $25 million worth of goods and services from Maine vendors, while Bowdoin students spent an estimated $2.2 million locally.
The College also had a notable impact through its community service efforts, with Bowdoin students contributing more than 58,000 volunteer hours of service during the 2014-2015 academic year. Of these, 45,531 hours were contributed to individuals and organizations in Maine, the estimated value of which was more than $682,000.
“The Economic Impact report tells the story of how the College contributes to the local and state economy – be it through Bowdoin’s payroll, construction projects, the spending habits of students and employees, or through the number of volunteer service hours in the community,” said S. Catherine Longley, the College’s Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer.
Of the nearly 1,800 students enrolled during the current academic year, 172 are from Maine, 146 of whom receive financial aid. Meanwhile the value of Institutitional Grant Funds received by Maine students now stands at more than $5.4 million.
“One doesn’t automatically think of a college as a major player in the local economy, but Bowdoin College attracted almost 50,000 visitors to the Brunswick area last year,” Longley said.
“Families of prospective and current students, alumni, and visitors to the College’s museums and other events, all come to Brunswick and take their business to the downtown and local area merchants. We are fortunate that the College is located in Brunswick.”