According to a new study, Pellissippi State Community College has pumped about $253 million into its local economy between 2013 and 2018. That equates to around $1.3 billion in economic impact, or the value of business growth, jobs and individual income in Tennessee’s Knox and Blount counties.
“I’m proud of Pellissippi State’s economic impact in our community, but we at the college place our emphasis on changing the lives of everyone who comes through our doors,” said Pellissippi State president Dr. L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Our greatest impact comes from graduates who pursue their dreams and, in turn, give back to our community, too.”
The majority of the community college’s total annual economic impact ($998 million) is a result of the infusion of new, non-local revenues like state appropriations, grants contracts and federal student financial aid revenues, according to a Pellissippi State release.
“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” said Fred H. Martin, an educational consultant and lead conductor of the study.
The study, called “An Analysis Of the College’s Economic and Social Impact” also found that each dollar of local revenue that is brought into Pellissippi State creates and estimated annual return of at least $5.94, which includes $2.90 in local business volume and at least $3.04 in individual income.
Conductors of the study also analyzed what a degree from the community college could mean for a student. Those who earn an associate degree can expect to make around $470,800 more over their career than if the highest level of degree attainment they had was a high school diploma, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.
During the 2017-2018 school year, the community college produced 1,458 graduates, meaning an added $686 million in lifetime earnings and $2.8 million in added annual tax payments that will positively affect the local economy, the report found.
Over the course of the five-year period, the community college’s expenditures established and maintained a predicted 42,675 jobs – over 32,700 of which were created by outside or new funds. During this time, the community college hired 2,858 full-time employees to its staff.