Grand Valley State graduates are ‘Brain Gain’ in Michigan

96% of Grand Valley graduates are employed or in graduate school

ALLENDALE, Mich. — The latest numbers from Grand Valley State University show that its graduates are bucking reports that college-educated young people are leaving Michigan in record numbers.

The university released its annual Economic Impact Report and its employment report for fiscal year 2007-2008, the latest year for which figures are available. The reports illustrate the tremendous impact the university has on the state of Michigan and the West Michigan economy.

Based on the number of respondents to the Career Services office survey and the total number of graduates, the university estimates that for the class of 2008, more than 2,700 are working in Michigan.

President of Grand Valley State University Thomas J. Haas said, “At this critical moment in Michigan’s economy, Grand Valley is pleased to be able to show this rate of return to the state’s taxpayers. We are educating students who in turn are giving real value to employers and communities around this state.”

Other results show that 96% of Grand Valley graduates are employed or in graduate school. Grand Valley alumni now number nearly 70,000, with nearly half living or working in the West Michigan’s tri-county area of Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties. Their fields of expertise dovetail with the area’s business needs.

Top employers of Grand Valley graduates are hospitals, school districts, and many well-known West Michigan companies such as Meijer, Amway, Herman Miller, and Steelcase. The number one employer of Grand Valley graduates for 2008 is Spectrum Health.

The economic impact of the university’s faculty, staff, and students is $592.1 million in total sales in the region; the total estimated employment attributed to Grand Valley is 9,677.

Both the Economic Impact and Career Services reports can be downloaded in full at

Grand Valley State University attracts nearly 24,000 students with high-quality programs and state-of-the-art facilities. Grand Valley is the comprehensive regional university for Michigan’s second-largest metropolitan area and offers 71 undergraduate and 27 graduate degree programs. It has campuses in Allendale, Grand Rapids and Holland, and centers in Muskegon and Traverse City. The university is dedicated to individual student achievement, going beyond the traditional classroom experience, with research opportunities and business partnerships.