July 12-- How much did the service region of East Georgia State College benefit economically in fiscal year 2012 from having the college located in this region?
According to the newly released report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, it benefitted $70 million in 2012. The report indicated that even during tough economic conditions, Georgia’s public university system made a $14 billion dollar economic impact on the state’s economy during the fiscal year 2012. East Georgia State College, a state college of the University System of Georgia, contributed $70 million to that total, in addition to employing 858 people in 2012. .
According to a college news release, "These are impressive numbers as they are and will continue to increase now that EGSC is in our fourth year as part of the NCAA (National College Athletic Association) and has opened student apartment housing called “Bobcat Villas” on campus. Additionally, the college is now offering selected baccalaureate degrees along with the AA programs currently offered. The College’s faculty also instructs students at East Georgia State College Statesboro, in collaboration with Georgia Southern University and beginning this fall at East Georgia State College Augusta, in collaboration with Georgia Regents University. The study areas used in this impact report as it relates to EGSC are the counties of Emanuel, Candler, Bulloch, Johnson, Jefferson, Toombs, Treutlen, Tattnall and Jenkins."
Dr. Bob Boehmer, president of East Georgia State College stated, "The new 2012 Economic Impact Report is clear evidence that education is a good investment and it emphasizes the wisdom and vision of the Swainsboro leaders who led the effort to establish East Georgia State College, then Emanuel County Junior College, in the early seventies.”
“We have EGSC alumni serving as successful pharmacists, judges, lawyers, teachers, anthropologists, doctors, engineers, and business and industry leaders, many in our local communities and this region of our state,” added Dr. Boehmer.
“The primary focus of EGSC is to provide the best possible educational environment for our students by meeting the objectives of the Complete College Georgia initiative of increasing college graduates. To be able to do this and contribute to the economic well-being of our service area makes East Georgia State College a vital driving force in East Central Georgia,” concluded Dr. Boehmer.
“The study shows clearly that East Georgia State College is good for business in our area. Businesses looking for a place to locate pay particular attention to the educational opportunities of their potential site. There are also other benefits, not measured in the study, such as the cultural opportunities and intellectual stimulation afforded through the College’s privately funded Vision Series,” added External Affairs, Alumni, and Foundation Director, Elizabeth Gilmer.
“The spending of residential students living in “Bobcat Villas” alone means a $2.4 million jump, based on factors used by the Selig Center researchers. The intercollegiate sports teams have proven to be an economic boost. Among other factors, out-of-town sports teams will generate spending in the service area as teams come into our town to compete against East Georgia State College athletes,” concluded Gilmer.
Economic impact benefits are based on three important categories of college/university related expenses; 1) spending by the institutions themselves for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expense, 2) spending by the students who attend the college and 3) spending by the institutions for capital projects (construction). Each of these categories creates spending which is then multiplied by further spending.
“A college or university improves the skills of its graduates, which increases their lifetime earnings. Local businesses benefit from easy access to a large pool of part-time and full-time workers,” said study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of economic forecasting for the Selig Center. For every job created on campus, there are 1.6 off-campus jobs that exist because of spending related to the institution.
“You can’t underestimate the value of education and the value that the East Georgia State College community brings to Swainsboro and the region. More than just the economics, it’s the intangible effects of having the quality of people in the EGSC family – the professors, the staff and administrators, and the students – that add so much to our community and the region. With over 3400 students, the College is a powerful economic engine that helps drive our service communities forward. From realtors to convenience store operators, everyone benefits. During slowdowns in the economy we usually see an upturn in the number of students seeking to improve themselves, so it’s near recession-proof too,” commented Swainsboro Mayor Charles Schwabe, a member of the EGSC Foundation.