UNA Pressroom

UNA’s Economic Impact to Shoals More than $340 Million Annually

Mar. 24, 2022



Michelle R. Eubanks , UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256.765.4392

FLORENCE, AL – The economic impact to the Shoals from the University of North Alabama is more than $340 million annually, based on a recent and in-depth analysis of Colbert and Lauderdale counties for 2021. The data is part of a study performed by two UNA professors, Dr. Doug Barrett, of the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, and Dr. Keith Malone, a professor in the Department of Finance, Economics, and Data Analytics in the College of Business and Technology. 

“UNA’s economic impact upon the Shoals community, particularly the City of Florence, is profound and growing,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Not only is UNA a first-choice university for all types of students, it is a first-choice institution for faculty and staff relocating to the Shoals to forge successful careers.”

The report was designed to determine the economic impact of the University on the Shoals and in a range of areas, including generated earnings, spending, taxes, and employment in the Shoals that results from University operations. Of note among the findings:

  • Total earnings in Colbert and Lauderdale counties as a result of the University in 2021 is $443.55 million for 2021.
  • Total jobs created as a result of the University in Colbert and Lauderdale counties in 2021 is 1,667.47.
  • Total local taxes collected in Colbert and Lauderdale counties in 2021 as a direct result of the University is $4,818,510.

“These are conservative estimates,” said Dr. Doug Barrett, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development and among those who provided the analysis. “The impact of the University of North Alabama on the Shoals far exceeds any specific dollar figure, as the University has many additional impacts on culture and overall well-being that contribute to the intrinsic quality of life and desirability of the Shoals as a destination for residents and businesses.”

Dr. Keith Malone, a professor in the Department of Finance, Economics, and Data Analytics, also worked on the analysis. The full report can be viewed at this link.

About The University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/