New UT Tyler medical school expected to have major economic impact
Economist expects 10K jobs to be added in the next 10 years.
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The dirt turned at this week’s groundbreaking for the new UT Tyler Medical Education Building might as well have been cash.
From attracting newcomers to the ripple effects of adding a major component to the area’s already booming biomedical industry, leaders call the new UT Tyler School of Medicine an economic game changer for East Texas.
“When you talk about job growth in the economy, the basics are already here,” said Kevin Eltife, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. “We have three great hospital systems: UT Health East Texas, CHRISTUS Mother Frances, and Baylor Spine and Joint. That already is so attractive to individuals who want to come work here and live here in the medical industry.”
Eltife said as the medical school grows, so will the economy.
“It’s going to be a steady growth in our economy, which is really good when you have the ups and downs that we’ve seen over the years with oil and gas industry and other things that affected the Texas economy,” Eltife said. “The medical industry in our area is going to continue to grow and be the backbone of our economy going forward.”
While the inaugural class is made up of just 40 students, through the years that number will climb into the hundreds. With more students, comes more employees, said Eltife.
“It’ll be slow and gradual, which is actually good,” he said. “It’s good for the city and the county in terms of being able to keep up with the infrastructure.”
Texas economist and Lindale native Dr. Ray Perryman expects the medical school to add around 10,000 jobs to the East Texas region over the next decade.
“Obviously you have more people and more spending in the area, and that trickles into all sorts of businesses and all sorts of occupations,” Perryman said.
The new jobs will be in addition to retirees and new businesses seeking quality healthcare as a result of the new med school.
“You have a much greater probability of having a good, well-trained doctor around to take care of you when you need them or other health care professional. So, I think both in terms of your economic activity and your quality of life going forward, that something of this nature again is a game changer for our region,” Perryman said.
While the new medical education building will not be ready until the spring of 2025, the school will launch this fall with its first class on the campus of the UT Health Science Center in Tyler.
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