We should all now know that when referring to UNC Charlotte, we now just say "Charlotte." And while many in the region have had the privilege of walking either of its beautiful campuses in Uptown or in University City, or even attending classes, many may not be aware of the vast impact "Charlotte" plays in the economic development of our region. The impact is both significant and multi-faceted. Here are some ways in which UNC Charlotte contributes to the economic growth and development of the Charlotte region:
1. Job Creation: UNC Charlotte is one of the largest employers in the region, providing jobs to thousands of faculty and staff. In addition, the university supports a large student body (nearly 30K, Fall 2022), which contributes to the local workforce as 70% remain in the region upon graduation. UNC Charlotte also fosters research and innovation, leading to the creation of new jobs in various fields, such as engineering, sciences, business, and technology.
2. Economic Output: UNC Charlotte generates economic output through its operations, research, and innovation. The university's annual budget and spending on goods and services, as well as research funding, contribute to the local economy. The research activities also attract external funding from federal agencies, private companies, and foundations, which further stimulates economic activity in the Charlotte region.
3. Business Engagement: UNC Charlotte actively engages with the business community in the Charlotte region through partnerships, collaborations, and entrepreneurial initiatives. The university's research expertise and resources are often utilized by local businesses for product development, process improvement, and innovation, which can enhance their competitiveness and growth. Charlotte also offers business incubation and acceleration programs, supporting the growth of start-ups and small businesses in the region.
4. Workforce Development: UNC Charlotte plays a critical role in developing a skilled workforce for the Charlotte region. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that prepare students for careers in various fields, including engineering, business, health sciences, education, and more. The university's emphasis on applied learning and practical experience helps students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to meet the workforce demands of the region's evolving economy.
5. Community Engagement: UNC Charlotte is deeply involved in the local community, contributing to its social and economic well-being. The university partners with local organizations, nonprofits, and government agencies to address community challenges, provide expertise, and support economic development initiatives. UNC Charlotte's faculty, staff, and students also participate in community service, volunteering, and civic engagement activities, which have a positive impact on the quality of life in the Charlotte region.
The university's role as a major educational institution and research hub drives innovation, fosters economic growth, and enhances the region's competitiveness.
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“History is not the past, it is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.” - James Baldwin