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ASU, Darton inject $291 million into economy

Albany State University and Darton State College combined to generate $291 million in economic activity in the two colleges' regions in Fiscal Year 2012, a study conducted for the University System of Georgia finds. (July 14, 2013)

Albany State University and Darton State College combined to generate $291 million in economic activity in the two colleges' regions in Fiscal Year 2012, a study conducted for the University System of Georgia finds. (July 14, 2013)

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany State University and Darton State College combined to pump more than $291 million into the Southwest Georgia economy during Fiscal Year 2012, according to a study released late last week by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

The annual study analyzed data collected between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. According to the study, of Darton's total output impact, student spending equaled $78 million, or 57 percent. Additionally, Darton generated 1,627 jobs -- both on and off campus -- during FY 2012.

Albany State's economic impact on the region increased to $156 million, which represents a 5 percent increase over the previous fiscal year's total of $148 million, while Darton contributed $135.6 million to the local economy, up 13.5 percent from $119.4 million in FY 2011.

"Albany State is a major contributor to the success of Southwest Georgia," said ASU President Everette Freeman. "As a community partner, we are committed to purchasing goods and services from companies and organizations that support our mission to create an environment that nurtures academically focused learners from diverse backgrounds."

The report shows Albany State created 1,816 jobs in its region, which includes Dougherty, Lee, Worth, Mitchell, Terrell, Colquitt, Baker, Sumter, Calhoun and Tift counties. Of that total, 585 are on-campus jobs, while 1,231 are off-campus jobs that exist because of institution-related spending.

Approximately 33 percent of the positions are on-campus and 67 percent are off-campus positions in either the private or public sectors.

The study area for Darton's economic impact include Dougherty, Lee, Worth, Mitchell, Terrell, Colquitt, Baker, Sumter, Calhoun, and Tift counties.

"We are proud of the impact Darton State continues to have on the community and has had since opening our doors in 1966," said Tracy Goode, dean of institutional advancement. "As this report reflects, a major part of Darton's impact is directly correlated to student spending. Our local economy benefits as our student population grows, which is why we are constantly seeking to increase our number of program offerings and secure additional sources for scholarship funding.

"We believe an investment in Darton State College and our students is an investment in our local economy."

The overall economic impact of the state University System's 31 public colleges and universities reached $14.1 billion in FY 2012, a 7.4 percent increase over FY 2011. The study also found that Georgia's public university system generated nearly 139,263 full- and part-time jobs.

The annual economic report is conducted on behalf of the Board of Regents.

"This study measures the economic value of our faculty, staff and students as residents and consumers and of the university as purchaser of local goods and services. ASU's economic impact continues to increase year after year," said ASU Vice President for Fiscal Affairs Larry Wakefield.

An "output impact" (sales) of $14.1 billion was generated by 31 public colleges and universities within the University System of Georgia.

Systemwide, the University System of Georgia records a 7.4 percent increase from the $13.2 billion recorded in FY 2011 and represents a growth of $900 million in direct and indirect spending.

Georgia's public university system generated nearly 139,263 full and part-time jobs, or 3.6 percent of all jobs in the Peach State.