In fiscal year 2012, Savannah Technical College had an economic impact on its four-county service area of nearly $57 million with spending directly or indirectly related to the college, according to a new study released by the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, conducted his analysis of economic data from the Technical College System of Georgia for FY2012 (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012).
The study also found that the college’s spending results in 707 public and private sector jobs. Humphreys reported that statewide, for each job created on a TCSG college campus, one off-campus job exists because of college-related expenditures. One in every 264 non-farm jobs in Georgia, he said, occurs because of spending associated with a TCSG college.
“The fundamental finding is that each of the TCSG colleges, including Savannah Technical College, creates substantial economic impacts in terms of output, value-added, labor income, and employment,” Humphreys said. “These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on technical colleges as an enduring pillar of the regional economy translates into jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses.”
The TCSG commissioned Humphreys to calculate the importance that spending connected to the state’s technical colleges has for their service delivery areas, which range in size from two to 11 counties. Savannah Technical College serves Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties.
Several categories of college expenditures were reviewed for the study, including personnel salaries and fringe benefits, college operations, capital construction projects, and student spending, to name a few.
The result, put in the context of the taxpayer investment, indicated that the $10,743,586 state appropriation for Savannah Technical College in FY2012 supported the enrollment of 7,401 students, generated $56,935,335 in local spending, and helped to sustain almost 707 college-related jobs.
Statewide, the $315 million state appropriation for the TCSG in FY2012 helped to train almost 153,000 technical college students, contributed to $1.2 billion in direct and indirect spending in communities throughout Georgia, and was a factor in almost 15,000 public and private sector jobs.
“The spending factor alone is a sizable return on the state’s investment in the TCSG, and it would be significantly higher if we were to add the economic value that our graduates create once they leave college and meet employers’ needs for a skilled workforce,” said Ron Jackson, TCSG commissioner.
The study did not attempt to measure the value in terms of the increased earnings of TCSG graduates or the colleges’ role in helping the state to attract and retain companies with high-skill, good-paying jobs. Nor did it calculate the impact of the TCSG’s Quick Start program, a state economic development incentive that provides customized training free of charge to new and expanding businesses.
The full report, The Economic Impact of Technical College System of Georgia Institutions on their Service Delivery Area Economies in FY 2012, is available online at https://tcsg.edu/download/TCSG_Impact_2012_Economic_Activity_1.2014.pdf.