ASU impacts local economy

By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia's public colleges and universities have a huge and growing impact on our state's economy.

The University System generates more than 112,000 jobs. That's nearly 3 percent of all the jobs in Georgia. Colleges are a major economic engine in many communities in our area.

Carters Grill Manager Martin Carter counts on business from ASU students, families and other locals as he dishes up mouthwatering food.

"Business is good but it could always be better. We can tell when the students are here and when they're not here. We get a lot of business from Albany State," said Carter.

Albany State University Vice President of Fiscal Affairs, Larry Wakefield, says ASU's output impact on the community mounted to nearly $150 million from June 2009 to July 2009. Output refers to the total production of funds including domestic or foreign trade.

Even though the university doesn't pay taxes, businesses around ASU dish their income taxes back into the local economy.

"That all benefits the city, county and everywhere we live." It shows the value of students and the value of an institution," said Wakefield.

Wakefield says ASU's economic impact improves each year. The $30 million housing complex will add to next year's numbers.

"That will generate a huge impact that will also show up on next year's report," Wakefield added.

Freshman Deqwinn Sampson looks forward to the additions. He also wants to eventually get an internship and work in Albany.

"I think you'll learn to live around that environment and that would better yourself and others," said Sampson.

That may add to the nearly 1,600 jobs ASU helped create in and around Albany and help business at Carter's Grill too.

The University System's impact on the state has increased by $5 billion, or 65 percent in the last 10 years.

For more information on the economic impact of Universities in Georgia click here.

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