News that Salem International University was purchased by Singapore-based Informatics Holdings Ltd. was welcome indeed.
It's estimated by SIU President Dr. Ronald Ohl that the school's annual payroll is about $5 million, which translates into $15 million for the region's economy. That may not seem like much but in rural West Virginia that's a big chunk of change.
Salem City Manager Ken Yost said the biggest hit the city would feel if the school were to close would be in lost sewer and water revenues.
In addition, most students who attend college in Salem shop in Bridgeport or Clarksburg, so area merchants would definitely feel the economic impact if the school were to close its doors.
The new partnership between SIU and Informatics is vital to the growth of the school, and in the words of Harrison County Delegate Barbara Warner, "What this does is enhance what Salem (University) can offer," she said. "It broadens their base and moves them into today's market."
One such aspect that Informatics will stress is distance learning and other aspects of high technology in education.
In essence, the purchase and new partnership stabilizes the economy and creates more high-tech educational opportunities for students.
The purchase of Salem International University by Informatics was good for Harrison and surrounding counties in more ways than one.