South Georgia College Exceeds $75 Million in Regional Economic Impact

South Georgia State College (SGSC) has long been a strong economic driver whose positive influence is felt beyond its two campus locations in Douglas and Waycross Georgia. The thriving college community is the center of instruction, culture and opportunity for its students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

While the primary objective of the public, four-year institution with a strong access mission is to educate its nearly 2,500 students, the effect of its economic outreach continues to have a direct benefit for the citizens of the college’s service area. This area stretches from Telfair, Ben Hill and Irwin counties on the northwest through Coffee and Ware to Pierce, Brantley, Charlton and neighboring counties to the east and south.

According to the latest state-wide figures from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, SGSC’s economic impact increased by 15 percent from $65.3 million to $75.1 million for fiscal year 2016 (July, 2015 through June, 2016). The annual report, which showcases the economic impact of the University System of Georgia (USG) statewide, revealed an 8.4 percent increase from $15.5 billion to $16.8 billion during the same timeframe. The full study with data is available here https://www.usg.edu/assets/usg/docs/USG_Impact_2016.pdf

"We are very proud of the partnerships we’ve created within our communities and the positive impact we continue to have on the local economy,” shared Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, SGSC’s newly installed permanent president. 

SGSC contributes to the community’s economic development in several ways, most notably by preparing students for higher paying jobs to providing current employment for faculty and staff. Fiscal year 2016 saw an increase of almost 7.4 percent (from 851 to 914) in full and part time jobs from the previous fiscal year.

These benefits permeate both the private and public sectors, and according to the Selig Center report, indicate that continued emphasis on colleges and universities as a pillar of the state’s economy translates into jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services.

While the Selig Center report does not measure intangible benefits such as cultural and educational programs and facilities which are often available to the general public, “these benefits go a long way toward improving the quality of life for our citizens,” says Dr. Thompson-Sellers.  She echoes USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley who shared his hope… “to continue to drive innovation, workforce development and job creation for years to come.”