BC contributes $77 million to southwest Georgia economy

For immediate release

July 10, 2012

Bainbridge College contributes $77 million to southwest Georgia economy

University System: $13.2 billion impact

(Bainbridge, Ga.) Bainbridge College (BC) annually makes a positive economic impact on its southwest Georgia service region. That impact was valued at almost $77 million by an annual study for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, which ran July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. The college’s impact included an employment impact of 1,014 full-time and part-time jobs: 205 on-campus and 809 off-campus jobs that exist because of institution-related spending.

The study, conducted by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth in the Terry College of Business, noted that the University System of Georgia (USG) as a whole had a five percent increase in FY2011 output impact on institutions’ host communities compared to FY2010. BC’s output impact increased from FY2010’s $71-plus million to FY2011’s almost $77 million.

“Each of Georgia’s public colleges and universities are strong pillars and drivers of the economies of their host communities. That translates into more jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services than would otherwise be the case” said study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center.
The Selig Center analyzed financial and enrollment data for July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 to estimate the economic impact that each of Georgia’s 35 public colleges and universities make to the economy of the community where it is located. The Selig Center began producing the annual economic impact report in 1999.

BC’s initial spending, including salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures, was reported at $83,619,943. The impact BC has on the region is large relative to the size of the host communities, the report demonstrates.

Initial spending by USG institutions equaled $9.5 billion, or 72 percent of the total economic impact. Combined with spending by students who attended the institutions, the total initial spending accounted for most of the USG’s $13.2 billion in overall economic impact. The remaining $3.7 billion (28 percent) in impact was created by re-spending, which is the multiplier effect of those dollars as they are spent again in the region.

The economic impact estimates are based on regional input-output models of each institution’s regional economy, certain necessary assumptions, and available data on annual spending in the specified categories, the report noted.

These positive impact benefits permeate both private and public sectors of the host communities. For example, for each job created on campus two off-campus jobs exist because of spending related to the institution, the report said. This impact demonstrates that USG institutions are essential to the state’s economy and their existence translates into jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services.

“The impact Bainbridge College has on the region goes beyond the classroom walls and into our host communities,” said Dr. Rodney Carr, Bainbridge College Vice President for Student Affairs. “Bainbridge College’s economic impact will continue to grow through the commitment of our devoted faculty and staff, and the institutional commitment of excellence to the region we serve. “

Universities and colleges, such as Bainbridge College and the BC Early County Center, are essential parts of Georgia’s economy, providing jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services. BC’s economic impact is felt in Baker, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, and Seminole counties, the USG report noted.

In its summary of the economic benefits each USG institution conveys to the community in which it is located, the study estimated those benefits for several categories of institution-related expenditures: salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures; spending by the students; and capital projects.

“Comparisons of the FY 2011 estimates to those for recent years show that our public college and universities really proved their economic worth during tough economic times” said Humphreys.

The study shows that between FY 2007 and FY 2011, total spending by all 35 institutions and their students rose by 30 percent, and the number of jobs that owe their existence to that spending rose by 24 percent – from 106,267 jobs to 131,990 jobs.

“That job growth is quite impressive given that the state’s total employment declined by 7 percent during this period” said Humphreys. “Without exception, each college or university is an economic lynchpin of its host community.”

The Selig Center’s research has limitations. It neither quantifies the many long-term benefits that a higher-education institution and its outreach and service units impart to the host community’s economic development nor does it measure intangible benefits to local residents such as cultural opportunities, intellectual stimulation and volunteer work. It also does not measure spending by USG retirees who live in the host communities, spending by visitors to USG institutions, such as those attending conferences or other events, nor does it measure additional sources of income for USG employees, such as consulting work, personal business activities and investments.

The full study, with data for all 35 USG institutions, is available at: http://www.usg.edu/economic_development/documents/PS-USGImpact2011.pdf

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The mission of Bainbridge College is to promote an accessible, affordable, and excellent education for the diverse population of southwest Georgia and beyond, resulting in life-long learning, economic development, and graduates empowered for success in a global society. For more information, please visit www.bainbridge.edu. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bainbridgecollege

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