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Robinson: WSSU is creating the next workforce

In a recent interview, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Chancellor Elwood L Robinson discussed the university’s impact on the Piedmont Triad’s economy.

“We really pride ourselves on being a regional institution, and by educating and creating the next workforce – that’s what we do here,” Robinson tells Higher Education Works Foundation.

According to a recent study, WSSU generated more than $230 million in total economic impact into the North Carolina economy.

Robinson says that the university’s impact is actually higher than that.

A new study done by a WSSU’s professor suggests that WSSU’s annual regional economic impact is probably somewhere around $420 million, he says.

“It’s because this professor took into consideration what our alumni are doing … That these folk works, they earn a living, they pay taxes, they have an overall economic impact on the region,” Robinson says.

WSSU has nearly 12,000 alumni living in about a 10-county area in and around Winston-Salem.

WSSU also is preparing the next workforce. Last year, nearly 60 percent of WSSU undergraduates participated in “high-impact practices, such as internships, undergraduate research, services learning and study abroad.

“We’ve looked at where students are doing their internships and we have calculated the economic impact of those students on the region. We believe it’s somewhere around a $1.2 million economic impact… That’s quite significant,” Robinson says.

Robinson recently sat down with Higher Education Works for an in-depth video interview. Other topics included:

About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.

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