UNCW and CFCC Generate Over $1 Billion in Added Regional Income

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wilmington, N.C. (February 19, 2015) – The University of North Carolina Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College created a total of $1.2 billion in added regional income for fiscal year 2012-13, according to new analysis from Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). Assessing each campus’s impact on the regional economy, EMSI analyzed payroll and operations spending, construction spending, and the spending of students, visitors, alumni and start-up companies. 

UNCW’s study focuses on the university’s impact on Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Sampson counties, while CFCC’s focuses exclusively on New Hanover and Pender counties.  

“Strong economies start with strong institutions, and UNCW is proud to partner with CFCC to announce the results of this study that captures higher education’s 'real-world' impact on our region,” said Chancellor William Sederburg. 

The two institutions combined employ a total of 3,852, but the impact goes beyond the two schools’ employment numbers. Alumni from UNCW and CFCC greatly influence the regional economy and created the biggest impact for both institutions within the report. Higher wages earned by graduates and increased output of businesses employing alumni added over $800 million to the region. 

“This study helps to affirm the role that our higher educational institutions play in creating a better quality of life for our region in terms of higher-paying jobs for local residents and a stronger economic climate for business and industry,” said CFCC Interim President Amanda Lee.

This news comes on the heels of the announcement made in Raleigh, N.C., yesterday about EMSI’s analysis of the institutions within The University of North Carolina system, the North Carolina Community College System and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and University, which showed a combined impact of $63.5 billion. EMSI is a leading provider of economic impact studies in the U.S. and internationally, completing over 1,200 reports of this nature since 2000. 


The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. A public institution with over 14,000 students, the university is widely acknowledged for its superb faculty and staff and a powerful academic experience that stimulates creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and responsible citizenship. With an array of high-quality programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology and educational leadership, UNCW is consistently recognized at a national level for academic excellence and affordability. The university is dedicated to offering a community rich in diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, and enriching the quality of life through scholarly community engagement in such areas as health, education, the economy, the environment, marine and coastal issues, and the arts.

With over 28,000 students enrolling in classes every year, Cape Fear Community College is the sixth largest community college in the state and is a major economic development partner in southeastern North Carolina. CFCC is dedicated to providing world-class workforce training and quality higher education for the citizens of New Hanover and Pender counties. CFCC’s main campus is located in historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina on the banks of the Cape Fear River and a North Campus in northern New Hanover County. The College also offers classes for Pender County residents in Burgaw and Surf City.