Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan A study released recently by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents found that in Fiscal Year 2010-11, Georgia Gwinnett College produced an economic impact of $211 million on the Gwinnett region. The study found that a total of 2,254 jobs were created due to the colleges continued growth.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Economic impact of GGC in Fiscal Year 2010-11 for Gwinnett region: $211 million
• Number of jobs created at GGC: 821
• Number of jobs created off campus, as a result: 1,433
• On average, every $1 of initial spending at University System of Georgia institutions generate an additional 39 cents for the local economy
LAWRENCEVILLE -- On her morning drive to Georgia Gwinnett College, there's a fair chance 19-year-old Christine Young will stop at the gas station for coffee -- two creams, two sugars -- or a tart energy drink to keep her alert for the next three hours of classes.
And there's a fair chance that the young man behind the counter scanning the items got hired to assist with hundreds of college students like Young who flood the aisles of the convenience store Monday through Friday looking for their caffeine fix or a quick snack.
According to a recent study by the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, both scenarios are more than chance -- they are well-documented fact.
A study released recently by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents found that in fiscal year 2010-11, Georgia Gwinnett College produced an economic impact of $211 million on the Gwinnett region, a 62 percent increase over the previous year.
The impact, which the study concluded created 1,433 jobs in the local community and 821 campus jobs, totaled 2,254 positions created due to the college's continued 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."
Added Kaufman: "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 UGA's Terry College of Business found that the University System of Georgia had a $13.2 billion economic impact overall on the state's economy during FY 2011. The center analyzed data collected between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011.
According to the study, on average, each job created on campus creates two off-campus jobs "that exist because of spending related to the college."
In addition, the study examined spending by the institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expanses as well as spending by the institution for capital projects such as construction.
"The emphasis is on funds received by residents in the region that hosts each college or university," the study stated.
At the GGC level, Lawrenceville's Director of Economic Development Lisa Sherman said the college has built a "very strong relationship, economically, with the community."
She added that it's a relationship that is cherished by the Lawrenceville community as well as much of the region.
Sherman touted the recent GGC-Downtown Lawrenceville Corridor Study, which aims to result in a community-crafted vision and plan for the area between the city's downtown overlay district and the growing campus of GGC.
The study seeks to address transportation, land use and design changes and focus on ways to better connect the campus with downtown Lawrenceville.
According to the impact study, other cities might be wise to follow suit.
Higher education institutions such as GGC, the study stated, are "an enduring pillar of the regional economy ... which translates into jobs, higher incomes and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses."
To view the study, visit www.usg.edu/economic_development/documents/PS-USGImpact2011.pdf.