Armstrong’s Impact on Regional Economy Tops $201 Million

(June 20, 2011) Despite a tough economic climate, Armstrong Atlantic State University continues to generate strong economic activity for the region, pumping more than $201.2 million into the local economy during fiscal year 2010, according to a study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

Armstrong's impact of more than $201 million includes the creation of 2,241 jobs directly attributed to the university, including 710 on-campus jobs and additional 1,531 private and public sector jobs across the region generated by the university's economic activity.

“This study helps to remind us that in addition to serving the higher education needs of our residents, Armstrong also contributes in very tangible ways toward regional economic prosperity,” said Armstrong President Linda Bleicken. “The university is proud to add both intellectual and economic value to our state.”

The annual report quantifies the impact that University System of Georgia (USG) institutions have on their local economies across the state. The economic benefits generated by Armstrong have an impact on Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, Liberty and Bulloch counties. Armstrong's initial spending of $76.5 million for payroll and goods and services, coupled with student spending of $87.5 million, generated an additional $37.1 million of re-spending in the community. Re-spending accounts for the multiplier effect of those dollars as they are spent again in local businesses in the community.

Even though the Selig Center study quantifies Armstrong's spending-related effects on the region, other long-term effects that the university has on the region are harder to quantify. The study does not take into account the role the university plays in the region as an institution of higher education and the added value it brings, such as cultural and intellectual benefits through lectures, performing arts presentations and community outreach initiatives that benefit residents.

“Although the university system's long-term effect on the state and local communities is more difficult to quantify than year-to-year spending, it is arguably more important because of the substantial contribution to regional economic development through educating the workforce and contributing cultural and intellectual enrichment to the region," said Michael Toma, Armstrong professor of economics and director of the Center for Regional Analysis.