Conestoga news

January 28, 2003 3:36 PM

Conestoga College’s Local Economic Value More Than $1.3 Billion Annually

Kitchener, ON (January 28, 2003) – Conestoga College today announced the results of an independently authored economic and social study which calculates the College’s value to the local economy to be at least $1.3 billion annually. The Economic and Social Value of Conestoga College? study, conducted by Larry Smith of Essential Economics Corporation, also shows that as the largest supplier of skilled labour to the area economy, the College has provided education or training to at least 40 per cent of the local labour force.

“As the number one college in Ontario for the fourth straight year, our strength has always been in producing the highly skilled employees our community requires,” says Dr. John Tibbits, President of Conestoga College. “This is the first time that we have quantified our value to the local area. The results of this study show just how effectively Conestoga College meets this community’s unique education and training needs and how integral we are to the local social fabric and economy.”


John Tibbits, President of Conestoga College, Larry Smith, President of Essential Economics Corporation, Dennis Watson, Chair of Conestoga College Board

Other key findings of the study include:

  • More than 40 per cent of the local adult population has taken courses at Conestoga College
  • Sixty per cent of College graduates live in the local area of Waterloo Region, Guelph and Stratford
  • More than 166,000 people have taken Continuing Education courses at Conestoga College
  • The College helps upgrade the skills of an estimated 36 per cent of the local labour force through Continuing Education activities alone
  • At least 21,300 participants have been served by the College’s Training and Development programs in the last decade
  • 358 children are enrolled in the Child Care centres at six College and community sites, and over 1,030 children are served by College summer and hockey camp programs each year
  • More than 126,000 people use the College’s Recreation Centre to participate in athletic, social and special events annually.

“We used income as a reflection of productivity, and the estimated earnings of local Conestoga College diploma and certificate graduates actually surpasses $1.3 billion annually,” says Larry Smith, President of Essential Economics Corporation and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo. “The results of this study are even more impressive when you consider that our calculations err on the side of conservatism. As these metrics demonstrate, no other educational institution is more important to the area economy.”

Conestoga College is by far the largest supplier of skilled labour to the area economy and offers more customized Training and Development opportunities than any other local educational institution. College offerings range from two-hour workshops to multi-year diplomas and applied degrees, each having a specific role in the continuing development of the local labour market.

“Conestoga College provides a broad range of high-quality programming that has been designed to deliver industry-relevant training for an ever-changing workplace. By offering many ways for people to acquire and upgrade workplace skills, the College also plays a major role in the adaptability and renewal of our local labour force,” says Tibbits. “The measurable scope of our contribution to this region is in part borne out by the impressive results of this study. But we are equally proud of the intangible value we contribute as a vibrant and invigorating force within the community.”

To view a full copy of The Economic and Social Value Study of Conestoga College, please visit

From: Public Affairs Office, 519-748-5220, ext. 3336