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Georgia Southwestern contributes over $103 million economic impact to region, up 15 percent from previous year

AMERICUS, GA (June 28, 2022) — Georgia Southwestern State University’s economic impact on the region was $103.2 million in fiscal year 2021, up 15 percent from last year at $89 million. 

The University System of Georgia (USG) and its 26 institutions served as a significant source of stability and played a critical role in the state’s recovery with a $19.3 billion statewide economic impact. While the USG’s overall economic impact was up 3.8 percent from fiscal year 2020, GSW had the largest percentage increase from a single institution in the system at 15 percent.

The new detailed report released by the USG revealed that GSW generated 1,102 full- and part-time jobs.

“Georgia Southwestern is an essential economic powerhouse for the region,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “This report illustrates the important connection GSW has with the Southwest Georgia region, particularly Americus and Sumter County. By generating jobs, providing a boost to local businesses, and graduating career-ready students, we are proud to play such a significant role in the growth of our regional and state economy.”

The annual study, conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, reported most of GSW’s $103.2 million economic impact consists of personnel and operating expenses, budgeted expenditures and spending by students.

“USG institutions and the system as a whole are key contributors to our state and are an economic engine for communities in every region of Georgia,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. “That economic impact continues to climb, and we are grateful to Governor Brian Kemp and the General Assembly for their support of the university system and public higher education as we focus on increasing prosperity for the state and all Georgians.”

The USG’s $19.3 billion total economic impact for fiscal year 2021 included $13.1 billion in initial spending by students and by USG’s 26 public colleges and universities on personnel and operating expenses. The remaining $6.2 billion is the multiplier impact of those funds in a local community.

Included in the initial spending by the institutions are rounds of funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which are federal funds allocated by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act that provided emergency grants for postsecondary education.

Of the 152,629 jobs generated by USG institutions, approximately 33 percent of the positions are on-campus jobs and 67 percent are off-campus. The study found that for each job created by a USG institution on its campus, two additional jobs are created in the local community. 

The full study with data for all 26 USG institutions is available at: https://www.usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/news_files/USG_FY_2021_Economic_Impact.pdf