According to Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, it adds up to $104.7 million. The economic impact is in a new report from Humphreys that details his analysis of economic data from the Technical College System of Georgia for the 2012 fiscal year.
The study also found that the college’s spending results in public and private sector jobs. Humphreys reported that statewide, for each job created on its college campus, one off-campus job exists because of college-related expenditures. One in every 264 nonfarm jobs in Georgia, he said, occurs because of spending associated with the college.
The fundamental finding is that each of the technical colleges, including Chattahoochee Tech, creates substantial economic impacts in terms of output, value added, labor income, and employment. 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,” said Humphreys.
The system 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. Chattahoochee Tech serves Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Gilmer, Paulding and Pickens 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 $18.9 million state appropriation for Chattahoochee Tech in 2012 supported the enrollment of 17,394 students, generated $104.7 million in local spending, and helped to sustain almost 1,288 college-related jobs.
“The economic impact of Chattahoochee Technical College is a substantial factor in the importance of our workforce development mission,” said college President Ron Newcomb. “In delivering that mission, we touch the lives of thousands of students who enroll in classes and programs at our eight campuses or online. This study illustrates just what that means to the region when we educate and prepare the local workforce to strengthen the community and its employers.”
Ron Jackson, commissioner of the technical college system, said, “The spending factor alone is a sizable return on the state’s investment in the [system], 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.”