Economic Development

  • WMU Economic Impact

    WMU's economic activity contributes $977.9 million in gross area product or value added to the regional economy. 

Western Michigan University is committed to the economic growth and prosperity of the communities it serves. Through a rich network of centers, institutes, and community partnerships, WMU has made significant economic contributions in Michigan, and throughout regional, national and global communities.

In 2018, the Impact DataSource, LLC produced a report quantifying the University’s local economic impact. According to this report, the primary economic impact of Western Michigan University includes five main activities detailed this report, including the economic impact from (1) University operations, (2) capital/construction projects, (3) student spending, (4) visitor spending, and (5) campus research. In total, these University-related impacts support $1.6 billion of economic output in the Kalamazoo 3-county region of Kalamazoo, Van Buren, and Calhoun counties. Additionally, this economic activity will support 16,690 jobs and $669.9 million in workers' earnings annually.  All of this economic activity contributes $977.9 million in gross area product or value added to the regional economy. Full Report. 

Additionally, WMU is home to the Business Technology and Research Park, a high-tech business development that shares its Parkview Campus with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. WMU’s BTR partners are focused on life sciences, advanced engineering, and information technology, and they provide regular opportunities for interaction and collaboration with the faculty, research staff and students of one of the United States’ top public universities.