According to an economic impact study released by the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents, Georgia Gwinnett College produced an economic impact of $211 million in the Gwinnett region during the 2010-2011 fiscal year, an increase of 62 percent over the previous fiscal year’s $131 million.
This impact included generating 1,433 jobs in the local community and 821 campus jobs for a total of 2,254 jobs. During the previous fiscal year, the college’s total was 1,348 jobs, with 870 in the community and 478 on campus.
These significant increases can be directly attributed to the college’s dramatic growth.
“Higher education acts as an economic engine not only across the state, but in specific areas where such institutions are based,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “Not only do they generate significant local business, colleges and universities educate the workforce, create innovations through research, and help businesses become more competitive through collaborations. It supports the local economy through job creation and spending. In GGC’s case, construction of campus facilities alone has generated about $300 million since the college opened in 2006.”
The Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business found that the USG had a $13.2 billion economic impact on the state’s economy during fiscal year 2011. The Selig Center analyzed data collected between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011.
The study included initial spending by USG institutions on salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures. This was combined with student spending and re-spending – the multiplier effect of those dollars as they are spent again and again in the region. The study found that, on average, every $1.00 of initial spending by a USG institution in its host community generated an additional $.39 for the local economy, or about 40 percent.
The Selig Center’s research has its limitations – it neither quantifies the many long-term benefits that a higher-education institution and its outreach and service units impart to its host community’s economic development, nor does it measure intangible benefits, such as cultural opportunities, intellectual stimulation and volunteer work, to local residents. Spending by USG retirees who still live in the host communities and by visitors to USG institutions (such as those attending conferences or athletic events) is not measured, nor are additional sources of income for USG employees, such as consulting work, personal business activities and inheritances.
See the Selig Center’s FY2010 report.