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AASU's regional economic impact tops $195M
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SAVANNAH - Armstrong Atlantic State University contributes more than $195 million to the local economy, including, directly or indirectly, more than $48.2 million in payroll dollars, according to a new study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.
The study shows that while AASU creates 711 full- and part-time jobs on campus, the institution generates an additional 1,274 jobs in the community due to university-related spending on goods, services and payroll.
The study, commissioned by the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program to study the economic impact of the University System of Georgia's 35 institutions across the state, revealed that the institutions had a combined impact of $11 billion during fiscal year 2007.
"The report highlights the role of the university system and AASU as economic drivers in the state and region," said Michael Toma, director of AASU's Center for Regional Analysis. "AASU's economic impact extends well beyond its campus classrooms and offices."
The study concluded that for every dollar of initial spending in a community by a university system institution, an additional 52 cents was generated for the local economy. Jeffrey M. Humphrey, director of economic forecasting for the Selig Center, authored the report. He determined that $7.3 billion - 66 percent - of the $11 billion was due to initial spending by USG institutions for salaries, fringe benefits, operating expenses and spending by students. The remaining $3.8 billion or 34 percent was generated by re-spending - the multiplier effect of dollars as they are spent again in the region.
AASU's initial spending of $136.6 million during fiscal year 2007 generated an additional $58.6 million of re-spending in the community for a total economic impact of $195.2 million.
The study also revealed that Georgia's public higher education system is responsible for 106,267 full- and part-time jobs, representing 2.6 percent of all jobs in the state.
The study does not measure the long-term benefits an institution of higher education brings to a community, nor does it look at the intangible benefits of higher education, such as cultural offerings, intellectual stimulation and opportunities for volunteer work.
"One aspect of the university's long-term community impact the report was unable to quantify is the substantial contribution to regional economic development through educating the work force of today and leaders of tomorrow," Toma said. "In addition, the wonderful array of cultural opportunities provided through art, music and theater offerings and various lectures, conferences and presentations complement the region's rich cultural heritage."

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