Vol State Generates $81 Million Annual Economic Impact

Submitted on March 23, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Volunteer State Community College pumped an average of $81.2 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows. The analysis of the economic impact of the college on its service area revealed that the value of business volume and individual income generated amounted to about $406 million in the 2004-2009 period, plus more than 15,000 jobs being created.

The study was conducted by Knoxville educational consultant Fred H. Martin. It shows that local business volume-the total amount generated locally by businesses from the college's direct and indirect expenditures-was $206 million for the five-year period. Of that total, $150 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state/federal contracts and grants, and state/federal student financial aid revenues.

Although Volunteer State had an average of only 383 full-time-equivalent employees per year during the period, the total employment created by the college's expenditures was estimated at 15,173 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 10,855 jobs were created by external or new funds.

Using the more conservative of two different calculations, the study estimated that the impact of the college's expenditures on individual income amounted to about $200 million during 2004-2009, of which $149 million came from external or new funds.

Of the college's $406 million total economic impact, about $299 million ($60 million each year) could be attributed to the infusion of new non-local revenues. This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Volunteer State in the area.

The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Volunteer State generated a "return on investment" of about $2.48 in local business volume. The individual income return on investment was at least $2.40, for a total ROI of at least $4.88 on the local dollar.

The study also estimated that an Associate degree graduate could expect to earn about $350,000 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Volunteer State graduates, this difference could mean an additional $207 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $1,123,000 in additional annual tax payments.

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