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UWG contributed $410 million to West Georgia in 2010 | Business

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UWG contributed $410 million to West Georgia in 2010
Business, Schools
UWG contributed $410 million to West Georgia in 2010

CARROLLTON, Ga. -- The economy may still be running slow, but the University of West Georgia continues to be a powerful engine.

UWG contributed $410 million to the region's economy during the 2010 fiscal year, according to a newly released report. In 2009, the school contributed $364 million to the region's economy.

These numbers represents spending by UWG on personnel services, operating expenses and spending by students.

The report was issued by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

UWG also accounted for 3,954 jobs in the region, according to data collected and analyzed by the Selig Center between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. Most of the jobs -- 2,926 of them -- are off-campus positions that exist because of spending by the school.

"Clearly the University of West Georgia is one of the most important assets not only to Carroll County, but to the entire region. The obvious economic impact is significant," said Daniel Jackson, president and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

According to Jackson, there are other intangible benefits as well: "What you bring to a community in terms of resources, opportunities for education, as well as continuing education, [UWG's faculty, students and staff] become a part of the fiber of the community in civic work, recreation, quality of life and involvement."

Overall, the University System of Georgia's 35 institutions had a $12.6 billion impact on the state's economy during fiscal year 2010, according to the report.

"Colleges and universities are key drivers in economic development," said study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of economic forecasting at the Selig Center. "Higher education institutions educate the workforce, innovate through basic and applied research, and collaborate with employers to help them become more competitive."

In addition to statewide economic impact, the report quantifies the significant contributions that each of Georgia's public colleges and universities makes to the local economy of its host community.

Researchers found that, on average, for every dollar of initial spending by a USG institution in its host community, an additional 38 cents was generated for the local economy.

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