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Med student economic footprint felt locally

A new group of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine students will become members of the Lewisburg community when they start school next week. 

The new class of 216 students along with their spouses and families have a big economic impact. The school says that according to an internally commissioned study in 2012, statewide the students have an annual economic impact of $73.2 million dollars.

Local businesses count on it. 

Wild Bean barrista Lauren Snider describes how the students affect the coffee shop she works at in downtown Lewisburg, "In the afternoons when the O-students are here it’s generally full in here. So there’s definitely more of an uptick in winter business for that reason when the winter business can be pretty slow."

Medical students bringing spouses has an impact as well. Belinda Evans Director of Student Life at WVSOM makes the point, "It gives an opportunity for our students spouses and significant others to be a working participant in the community."

Non-profits also benefit from the students. Executive Director of United Way Erin Hurst describes the benefit, "It’s great to have this free labor of these young energetic individuals that will come and help for a few hours. Oftentimes these things won’t get done or they’ll have to be paid to get done."

In order to introduce students and their families to the services and resources available in Lewisburg and Greenbrier County, community organizations and businesses are invited to attend the annual Resource Fair at WVSOM.

The event will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday July 24, in the Conference Center located in the WVSOM Student Center. It is hosted by the Office of Student Affairs. The school says it will provide participants with a table and chairs. A registration fee of $25 for all for-profit businesses will be used to fund student co-curricular programs.

For more information interested organizations and businesses can request a registration form or receive more information by contacting the WVSOM Office of Student Affairs.

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