Kaweah Delta generates $1B in local economy

Large workforce with higher wages and spending power accounts for 3.2% of Tulare County’s economy

The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – Kaweah Delta does more than provide healthcare services to the greater Visalia region and the Central Valley, it also infuses nearly $1 billion into the local economy each year, according to a recent study.

Kaweah Delta makes an estimated $973 million annual economic impact and accounts for $550.4 million or 3.2% of Tulare County’s economy – that’s the total value of everything that is produced in Tulare County, according to an economic impact analysis commissioned by the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation (TCEDC) and prepared by Impact DataSource of Austin, Texas. DataSource is an Austin based economic consulting, research and analysis firm founded in 1993 and has conducted over 2,500 economic impact analyses of firms, projects and activities in more than 30 states across the U.S. TCEDC often analyzes the impacts of industries on our local economy, has commissioned numerous economic and fiscal impact analysis and publishes a quarterly economic update and the only Tulare County economic forecast annually.

“Many people think that, traditionally, a hospital exists to care for a community and while there are many examples of that, this study paints the bigger picture of how Kaweah Delta supports Tulare County’s economy,” said Paul Saldana, president and chief executive officer of TCEDC.

The study found that Kaweah Delta:

  • Has a workforce that makes an estimated $444 million in compensation, of which $364 million goes back into the region through its spending.
  • Has 5,000 employees, but creates an additional 2,382 local jobs through its employees’ spending and activity.
  • Provides an average salary of $68,323 to employees, which is significantly higher than the average annual wage of $39,000 in Tulare County.
  • When it recruits one new primary care physician to the area, it generates an economic impact of $2.9 million in annual economic output, 17 jobs, and $1.2 million in compensation paid. In 2019, Kaweah Delta recruited 40 new physicians of various specialties to the area.
  • Supports $550.4 million in value added, which benefits nearly all local industries.

“Kaweah Delta is one of the largest employers in the county. Its workforce includes everything from doctors to nurses to people who cook and clean rooms. They are well-paid, and their paychecks help support our local economy,” Saldana said.

The study sponsored by the Sequoia Regional Economic Development Foundation (SREDF) and Kaweah Delta Health Care District, analyzed the total annual economic impact of the healthcare district. The report will be made available to those in attendance at the Sequoia Regional Economic Summit on Friday, March 27, in Visalia and is also available for download at www.SequoiaEconomicSummit.com.

Kaweah Delta’s economic impact supports nearly all local industries and local taxes, which fund public safety, schools, roads and more, said Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel. “The impact of Kaweah Delta is far reaching not only in medical care, community education and in saving lives, but also through economic benefits that touch nearly every industry sector in Tulare County,” he said.

Nick Seals, Vice President of Seals Construction, Inc., was not surprised by the study. “When it comes to local sales, Kaweah Delta brings many people to the community, which directly contributes to our bottom line. People who are in business locally know that,” he said.

Economic impact is just one of the reasons that the City of Visalia and downtown Visalia businesses are glad that Kaweah Delta remains committed to downtown Visalia, said City Manager Randy Groom. “It’s no secret that downtown Visalia is the centerpiece gem in this community known as the jewel of the valley.  Kaweah Delta is one of the main reasons for that,” he said. “Walk the downtown on any given day and you will find Kaweah Delta employees grabbing a coffee, sitting down to lunch, or doing some shopping.”

Kaweah Delta continually modernizes and expands its facilities, and improves services to care for the growing population. As Kaweah Delta continues with this in the future, the report projected that its total economic impact could grow to $1.1 billion. At that time, it would support over 8,100 jobs.

“Kaweah Delta is certainly one of the largest employers in Tulare County and based on national trends, we don’t believe that will change anytime soon,” said Adam Peck, Executive Director, Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County. “Health care is one of the nation’s largest and best paying sectors and one of our priorities in Tulare County. We are working to develop a workforce that can meet those needs.”

Kaweah Delta is a publicly-owned community healthcare organization that provides comprehensive health services to the greater Visalia region and Tulare County. With over 5,000 dedicated medical professionals and employees, Kaweah Delta is committed to meeting the community’s health needs through state-of-the-art medicine, high-quality preventive services and specialized health centers and clinics. For more info, visit www.kaweahdelta.org.

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