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A member of the Colonial Athletics Association, JMU athletics programs attract thousands of visitors to Harrisonburg each year.

“JMU is one of our major economic drivers in the area, but the relationship is far deeper than dollars and cents. JMU gives the economy stability in slow times and a lift in prosperous times. Having a major university in our community gives us options for lifelong learning, arts and culture, sports and entertainment, and an overall vibrancy that other communities desire.”

— Frank Tamberrino, President, Harrisonburg–Rockingham County Chamber of Commerce
Tamberrino says that, in addition to being a significant economic force in the region, JMU faculty, staff and alumni also serve on the chamber’s board of directors, as well as various strategic committees.

Related Links:
JMU: Be the Change
Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Chamber of Commerce

“JMU is a stable employer. It draws a significant number of people to the city who contribute to all sectors of the local economy. From the typical visitors and parents to the visiting athletic teams, faculty and staff, and a multitude of other academic, social and cultural events that occur during the course of a year, JMU helps create a stable, relatively predictable stream of patrons for hotels, restaurants, and other commercial and retail entities.”

— Kurt Hodgen, City Manager, Harrisonburg, Virginia
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Harrisonburg in October 2010 was 6.1 percent, well below the national average of 9.8 percent.

Related Links:
City of Harrisonburg
U.S. Department of Labor

construction workers

Construction continues on the new Biosciences Building, expected to be complete around May 2012.

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In 2009, the total employment related to JMU was 8,200, an increase of 1,975 jobs over four years.

“JMU is a key partner in our revitalization effort. Most prospective business owners find the size of the student body and proximity of the JMU campus to downtown as a reason why locating their business here is attractive. Many universities and downtowns recognize the advantages of a close and mutually beneficial relationship, and JMU and downtown Harrisonburg are committed to nurturing this type of relationship here.”

— Eddie Bumbaugh (’73), Executive Director, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
Bumbaugh works closely with JMU in his efforts to revitalize Harrisonburg’s downtown district. Since 2008, 38 new businesses have located in the downtown area, along with 313 housing units.

Related Links:
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
JMU: Be the Change


The partnership between JMU and Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance has led to many successful community projects and events.

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The SVP brings together business, government, and education leaders to promote new investment, strengthen existing business, and guide labor force development to ensure a healthy economic future for the region.

“JMU has nurtured an integrated educational model that graduates students who are prepared for the modern business world and ready to make an impact. The Shenandoah Valley has specifically benefited from JMU’s presence through a variety of collaborative ventures.”

— Robin Sullenberger, CEO, Shenandoah Valley Partnership
The Shenandoah Valley Partnership brings together business, government and education leaders to promote new investment, strengthen existing business and guide labor force development to ensure a healthy economic future for the region.

Related Links: 
Shenandoah Valley Partnership

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