South Georgia State College (SGSC) has long been a center of instruction leading to opportunity for the residents in its region. While SGSC’s primary objective is to educate, it also carries a direct economic benefit for the citizens of the College’s service area. During fiscal year 2020, SGSC contributed $65.1 million to the regional economy and was responsible for more than 720 jobs locally, SGSC’s President Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers announced recently.
“SGSC contributes to economic development in several ways, including preparing its students for higher paying careers and providing a number of jobs to stimulate economic growth,” says Dr. Thompson-Sellers. “We are dedicated to developing an educated workforce and creating jobs for the surrounding area. We continue to focus on the needs of the community and strive to create opportunities, not only to enhance the future of our students but also the growth and economic well-being of the areas we serve.”
Dr. Thompson-Sellers emphasized that with the recent addition of the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology (BSMET) program beginning in the fall of 2021, SGSC is continuing to increase its number of baccalaureate degrees in order to develop academic programs to meet the needs of local businesses and industries. Community partnerships are playing a key role in supporting these programs which will be a win-win for the region and the college. SGSC’s academic portfolio now includes Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences (BSBS), Elementary/Special Education (ELE/SPED), Long-term Healthcare Management (LTHM), Management (BSM), Mechanical Engineering Technology (BSMET), Nursing (BSN) and Public Service Leadership (PSL), as well as the Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Business and Technical Writing (PBTW). In addition, over 19 pathways in Associate of Art and Associate of Science programs continue to attract those who wish to attend SGSC and graduate in two years.
SGSC’s impact is significant for the region as shown in the study compiled by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors played a role in the more than $65,1 million recorded as SGSC’s economic impact to the service area for fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). This area includes Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Clinch, Coffee, Jeff Davis, Pierce and Ware counties. During fiscal year 2020, SGSC’s total employment impact was noted as 720 including on-campus and off-campus jobs that exist due to institution-related spending.
The Selig Annual Report is conducted on behalf of the Board of Regents by Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Ph.D., director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. The report shows that The University System of Georgia (USG) recorded a statewide economic impact of $18.6 billion for fiscal year 2020, a 0.6 percent increase from fiscal year 2019. The USG also generated 155,010 jobs, either directly or indirectly.
The full economic impact report can be found online at https://www.usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/USG_Impact_2020.pdf and the companion study reporting lifetime earnings that show how work-life earnings increase substantially with each step up in earned degree is located at https://www.usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/Lifetime_Earnings-USG_2020.pdf.