Sterling College is organized as a 501(c) (3) Corporation, paying property taxes of 24,847.00 per year to the Town of Craftsbury. In 2012, Sterling College employed 38 fulltime people and had a total payroll of $1,509,049. Payroll Taxes totaled $132,837. Investment in employee benefits was $261,137.
In other operational costs, such as utilities, fuel and maintenance, Sterling College paid a total of $975,872 to regional vendors, with local towns and villages realizing $179,616. $117,868 was paid to vendors in the Town of Craftsbury.
Using a conservative multiplier of 4.0, the total Economic Impact of Sterling College in 2012 was $11,737,434. This figure shows that Sterling College makes a significant monetary contribution to the Northeast Kingdom. However, when the work college component is added, Sterling’s contribution to the community rises in a manner disproportionate to the actual monetary figure.
Work and Service Impact
As one of the seven colleges in the Work College Consortium, community work is an intrinsic piece of the educational experience at Sterling, and as such, is a requisite for graduation. Sterling students are required to work a minimum of 80 hours per semester, earning $800 per semester in tuition credit.
Although the Sterling College student body is small, the social impact of being a Work College in the most rural part of Vermont is huge, both for students and for the greater community. The Work College model works well as a conduit for the economic development of the area in that Sterling College serves as a vehicle for supplying local entrepreneurs, businesses and farms with an educated and motivated source of employees. Our work programs save local businesses time, effort and money that they can then better use to grow their organizations.
Students may secure internships in either non-profit or for-profit organizations. In 2012, the breakdown between non-profit and for-profit internships was as follows:
Non-Profit Internships in Vermont: 1786.25 hours
Outside Vermont: 1454 hours
For-Profit Internships in Vermont: 872.5 hours
Outside Vermont: 794 hours
Work Program hours serving the Craftsbury community: 1381.25 hours
All College Work Day projects serving the local community: 440 hours
If this work component were to be calculated only at the minimum wage, leaving out the multiplier effect, the gross value of these hours is $53,128.
Sterling College and Tourism
Vermont’s towns and villages occupy a distinct place in the tourism industry. Over 2,500 visitors come to the Town of Craftsbury every year, pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. Sterling College helps contribute to tourism in the Northeast Kingdom in the following ways:
Hosting over 100 perspective students and their families yearly;
Scheduling on-campus public events such as guest lectures and art shows;
Hosting the 40 writers who yearly attend the Wildbranch Writing Workshop;
Providing the scenic beauty of our white clapboard buildings, including the President’s home; and
Participating in regional food and agricultural tours.