Report: College has big impact on economy

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Georgia Gwinnett College had a $83 million impact on the regional economy in the 2009 fiscal year, according to a recent report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

The Center, which is part of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, quantified the economic benefits that the 35 University System of Georgia institutions convey to the communities in which they are located, the report states.

The total economic impact of all the institutions was $12.7 billion. On average, the report found, every dollar of initial spending generates an additional 51 cents for the economy of the region that hosts the institution.

The report also measured the on-campus and off-campus jobs that exist due to institution-related spending. The university system had a total employment impact of 112,336 jobs -- 69,670 that exist off-campus.

Georgia Gwinnett College had a total employment impact of 787 jobs. Of that, 373 were on-campus and 414 were off-campus.

"Colleges and universities are economic engines," GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman said. "This is an important report, and it reveals much of the effect of Georgia Gwinnett College on the region. The leaders of the community knew this would be the case when they sought to establish a four-year college in the area, so their vision should be properly credited.

"We must also remember that this report does not show the intangibles, such as the benefit to local citizens of having convenient access to higher education, the value of campus-driven cultural and educational activities, and the transformative force of the partnership between the college and its communities."