President Art Dunning
Albany State University
May 10, 2016
ALBANY, Ga. – According to a study released today by the University System of Georgia, Albany State University and Darton State College had a combined economic impact of $285 million on the Albany region in 2015. The total amount includes direct spending, employment and indirect spending.
A breakdown of the dollars that poured into the area in 2015 shows that the university and college, together, had an employment impact of 3,413 people for a total of $119 million in labor income for the region, as described by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. Area counties included in the study were Dougherty, Lee, Worth, Mitchell, Terrell, Colquitt, Baker, Sumter, Calhoun and Tift. Darton had more than $141 million in economic impact, while ASU registered at more than $144 million.
“This study demonstrates how important higher education institutions are to the economic vitality of a region,” said ASU President Art Dunning. “There is an undeniable connection between our institutions and Southwest Georgia’s economic development. It is revealed through the transfer of knowledge, jobs at our institutions, employment beyond our campuses, and through our employees and students who are major consumers. That connection will be enhanced as we move forward with consolidation.”
Darton Interim President Richard Carvajal shared Dunning’s sentiments: “President Dunning and I have reached out to boards, businesses, communities and groups all over this area to give them the facts about consolidation. This Selig study only serves to strengthen the premise that together, as one, we will have a greater presence, not only in academics and programs, but, also in terms of economic impact.”
The Selig study indicated that the statewide economic impact of all 31 of Georgia’s higher-education institutions had a $15.5-billion total economic impact on the state.
Dunning and Carvajal said consolidation will create a larger university that better serves the needs of the community and region. The two institutions are working on a consolidation process that is expected to receive final Board of Regents approval in January 2017.
The complete Economic Impact Study is available online at http://www.usg.edu/economic_development/publications/studies