ATC Spotlight

Spending associated with TCSG colleges has $1.2 billion impact in Georgia

Spending associated with TCSG colleges has $1.2 billion impact in Georgia graphic

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As an economic engine, Athens Technical College helps generate $46.7 million dollars to the economies in Athens and Northeast Georgia through spending that is either directly or indirectly related to the college, according to an economics expert at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at UGA’s Terry College of Business, released a new report that details the economic benefits of the Technical College System of Georgia and each of its 24 member colleges on the communities they serve for the 2012 fiscal year. In total, the TCSG provided a $1.2 billion economic impact to the state, Dr. Humphreys asserts in his report.  

His study also found that the technical colleges’ spending results in close to 15,000 public and private sector jobs. Humphreys reported that for each job created on a TCSG college campus, one off-campus job exists because of college-related expenditures.  One in every 264 nonfarm jobs in Georgia occurs because of spending associated with a TCSG college, he said.

The $46,716,956 in spending associated with Athens Technical College resulted in 608 college related jobs comprising 352 on-campus positions and 256 off campus jobs that exist due to institution-related spending in 2012.

"The fundamental finding is that each of the TCSG colleges creates substantial economic impacts in terms of output, value-added, labor income, and employment,” Dr. 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 Dr. 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. 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 $315 million state appropriation for the TCSG in 2012 supported the enrollment of almost 153,000 technical college students, generated $1.2 billion in local spending, and helped to sustain 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, commissioner of the TCSG.

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

Don Nelson
706 355-5011