July 12, 2013

Dalton State’s regional economic impact exceeds $112 million

Submitted by Dalton State College

— Dalton State College remains a significant economic driver for northwest Georgia, pumping more than $112 million into the regional economy last year and supporting nearly 1,400 jobs, according to a report released this week by the University System of Georgia.

The report, which measures economic impact of the system’s 31 colleges and universities, covers the 2012 fiscal year, July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, and was compiled by Jeffrey Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

The total economic impact to the northwest Georgia region was $112.753 million; the number of full- and part-time jobs sustained by Dalton State dollars was 1,392.

Initial spending by Dalton State equaled $102.325 million; this spending included salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures. The remaining $10.428 million in economic impact was created by re-spending — the multiplier effect of those dollars as they are spent again within the region which includes Whitfield, Murray, Catoosa, Gordon, Walker and Gilmer counties.

“Despite the region’s high unemployment and struggling economy, Dalton State continues to be a significant economic engine for northwest Georgia,” said John O. Schwenn, president.

The first study in the series calculated Dalton State’s impact at $55.142 million in fiscal year 1999. The latest figure represents a nearly $58 million increase since FY99 — or 104 percent growth in the college’s economic impact on the northwest Georgia region. That gain far outstrips inflation, which was only 38 percent over this same period, Humphreys said.

According to the Selig study, the University System had a $14.1 billion impact on the state’s economy during fiscal year 2012. The study found that Georgia’s public university system generated 139,263 full- and part-time jobs; approximately 33 percent of these positions are on campus as University System of Georgia employees and 67 percent are off-campus positions in either the private or public sectors.

“Of course, our studies focus on spending and economic impact, but do not attempt to measure the value the University System adds in terms of quality of life, the creation of a highly educated workforce to meet the needs of businesses, government and communities, or the overall health of communities,” Humphreys said.