Key to a healthy local economy? Universities like Saint Martin’s

March 8, 2012

RileyMooreLACEY, WASHINGTON — Institutions of higher education like Saint Martin’s University can be drivers for economic development in Thurston County, according to Riley Moore, Ph.D., local economist and associate professor in Saint Martin’s School of Business.

“The presence of these institutions helps sustain a well-educated and well-trained work force for local businesses while increasing the general quality of life in the county,” says Moore. He adds that, each year, Saint Martin’s University contributes more than $57 million to the local economy.

In an upcoming episode of Around Thurston County, a local Comcast TCTV program, Moore will be discussing the impact of local institutions of higher learning on Thurston County’s economy. The discussion also will highlight Saint Martin’s long-standing relationships with institutions in China, which date back to the 1920s. Recently, in an effort to promote greater trade and tourism possibilities between China and the Thurston County region, Saint Martin’s has linked Thurston County economic development groups with organizations in China.

Around Thurston County is an in-depth discussion of topics that affect the lives of Thurston County residents. Produced monthly at Comcast TCTV studios in Olympia, it airs on Channel 22 every Monday at 6:30 p.m. and every Friday at 5:00 p.m. The episode featuring Moore and Around Thurston County host Patrick Babineau will air throughout the month of March.

For more information on Around Thurston County, please contact Babineau at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

Sarah Holdener
Director of community relations and event management
Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University