The University of West Georgia contributed more than $632.3 million to the region’s economy during the state’s 2019 fiscal year, according to the annual economic impact study recently released by the University System of Georgia (USG).
USG recorded a statewide economic impact of $18.5 billion for fiscal year 2019, a 4.5 percent increase from fiscal year 2018, while UWG’s economic impact climbed 4.6 percent over last year’s figure of $604.5 million. Over the past decade, the impact has grown 54 percent from $410 million in Fiscal Year 2010.
UWG President Dr. Brendan B. Kelly said he is extraordinarily proud of the university’s ability to make such a notable impact on the region’s economy and quality of life.
“We are grateful and honored to have the ability to contribute to our regional economy to such a degree,” Kelly said. “Placemaking is something we hold in highest regard, and I’m proud to say the profoundly important, collaborative relationship between UWG and the community is stronger than ever.”
Dr. Hilde Patron, professor of economics and director of the Center for Business and Economics Research (CBER), said students play the key role in UWG’s economic impact.
“Students continue to be the main driving force behind the economic impact of the University of West Georgia with more than 50 percent of the original spending coming from them,” Patron said. “Our students spent more in 2019 than they did in 2018: $206,383,095 vs. $191,656,302, to be exact.”
Adding to this spending by students, the university’s spending on personnel services and operating expenses, which totaled about $186 million, led to the university community directly injecting roughly $392 million into the local economy.
In terms of employment, UWG generated 5,405 full time jobs, 30 percent of which were directly on-campus positions, while 70 percent were off-campus jobs. This means that for every on-campus job, UWG generated 2.3 jobs off-campus.
The study revealed every dollar spent by USG institutions generates an additional 47 cents for the regional economy, noted USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley.
“USG and our 26 institutions play a critically important role in local economies all across Georgia,” Wrigley said. “At the same time, a college degree has never been more essential to success in the workforce and for our state’s economic future. As Georgia’s public college and university system, USG remains committed to improving on the state’s investment in higher education and carrying out our ultimate mission to prepare students for life and work with a college degree.”