Wayne State generated $2.4 billion in annual economic impact in 2019. In addition to preparing our workforce, with nearly 75% of our 274,000 alumni living and contributing to our Michigan's economy, the University is one of the top 10 largest employers in the city of Detroit. Our world-class, $300 million research enterprise helps develop new technologies, private-sector spinoffs and jobs, and we make big investments in our neighborhood. Our role as an economic driver has been recognized by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, which has named Wayne State an Innovation and Economic Prosperity university—a designation honoring higher education institutions that have demonstrated a commitment to economic engagement.
To read more about Wayne State's impact across Midtown, Detroit and Michigan, click here.
We're Investing in Our Neighborhood
- Wayne State is transforming to a 24/7 campus. Since 2002, we've constructed four new residence halls, adding more than 2,400 beds. By 2022, we expect on-campus housing capacity to be 3,750.
- Midtown has seen a more than 60% decline in major crime since 2009, due in large part to Wayne State University's Police Department and their community policing activities.
- Wayne State was a founding partner of Live Midtown, which attracted and retained 2,025 residents, including 571 WSU employees, in our neighborhood between 2011-2015. The financial impact of the program is estimated at over $22 million.
- Wayne State opened the Anthony Wayne Drive apartments in 2019, a $111 million mixed-use building with 840 new dorm beds and 86,500 square feet of retail space.
- The STEM Innovation Learning Center is a $49 million investment in the heart of campus.
- The Mike Ilitch School of Business, located in the District Detroit, is a $59 investment that extends Wayne State's reach and makes a significant contribution to downtown's resurgence.
- TechTown's move to its own building in 2004, as well as more recent investments in the Integrative Biosciences Center (IBio) and Industry Innovation Center (I2C), are catalyzing development at the north end of campus, creating a concentrated hub for innovation and a stronger connection between campus and New Center.
- Our north end developments have preserved Detroit's rich architectural and automotive history. TechTown is located in a former Chevrolet dealership, designed in 1927 by Albert Kahn. The Dalgleish Cadillac building, a local icon, is incorporated into the design of IBio.
We're Creating a Transit-Friendly City
- MoGo, Detroit's bike sharing system, launched out of Wayne State's Office of Economic Development. Lisa Nuszkowski, one of the first members of the OED team, became MoGo's inaugural executive director. In 2021, Lisa was named president of M-1 Rail.
- OED spearheaded free 31-day Dart passes for Wayne State students, good for unlimited rides on DDOT and SMART buses, and the QLINE streetcar, a $250,000 investment in public transportation by the University.
- Wayne State was a key partner in the QLINE/M-1 Rail and the Midtown Greenway Loop.
- The Office of Economic Development helped bring Zipcar to Detroit, starting with two cars on campus in 2011.
We're Making Great Public Spaces
- Woodward | Warren Park has hosted more than 50,000 visitors since 2016. OED has raised more than $150,000 for park improvements since 2017.
- In 2015, OED partnered with Jefferson East, Inc. on Move Detroit: Creating Vibrant, Inclusive and Innovative Public Places. The week-long event, which featured a keynote by renowned planner and advocate Gil Peñalosa, spurred the creation of Open Streets Detroit.
We're Helping Startups and Small Businesses Thrive
- Nearly 600 small business owners from across Michigan have graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, housed at Wayne State. Approximately 70 percent of these business owners increased revenues after completing the program and 45 percent created new jobs.
- Since 2007, TechTown has supported more than 3,000 companies, who created over 2,000 jobs and raised over $168 million in capital.
- WSU's neighborhood business support efforts, and the patronage of our students, faculty and staff, have contributed to the opening of more than 178 new Midtown businesses and nonprofits since 2013.
- Blackstone Launchpad and the WSU Innovation Studio, Wayne State's student-serving entrepreneurship programs, have helped launch nearly 200 revenue-generating businesses between 2011 and 2020.
- Since 2014, 178 small businesses and nonprofits have opened or expanded in Midtown.
We're Building a 21st-Century Workforce
- Our nationally recognized Warrior Wayback debt forgiveness program has helped 142 students return to Wayne State to complete their degrees since it was launched in Fall 2018.
- The Heart of Detroit, Detroit Promise and Wayne Access tuition and scholarship programs put a Wayne State education in reach for Detroit high school graduates.
- The first scholarship of its kind in Michigan, our Frontliners Forward scholarship helps Michigan's frontline workers pursue a four-year college degree.
- The university's commitment to workforce development helped earn Detroit a distinction as a Lumina and Kresge foundation Talent Hub, one of only 24 in the U.S.
We're Attracting and Retaining Talent
- Detroit Revitalization Fellows has graduated 80 emerging leaders. Fellows have led more than 50 high-impact projects, including the Jefferson Avenue Streetscape, Detroit Public Lighting Authority, REVOLVE (which evolved into Motor City Match), Detroit '67 and Motor City Mapping.
- 75 percent of Detroit Revitalization Fellows remain in the city after their fellowships, contributing to the city through their work, volunteerism and business pursuits, as well as in the neighborhoods where they live.
- More than 3,000 business, community, media, nonprofit, political, civic and student leaders have participated in the Detroit Orientation Institute.