Clayton State University shown to have significant regional impact

by celia shortt

In a recent study by the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Clayton State University was shown to be a major player in the Metro Altanta southern counties area, both economically and in overall quality of life.

According to the study, Clayton State's economic impact for the area was $256 million, with 2,377 jobs. The impact over five years has increased by 39 percent. Subsequently, the number of jobs has increased 37 percent.

The director of the Selig Center, Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, conducted the study and determined the economic impact by analyzing data collected between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012.

'Even in the worst economic times in a generation or two, our colleges and universities proved to be strong pillars and drivers of the economies of their host communities,' said Humphreys.

'That's due to rising demand for higher education regardless of the economic climate.'

The study looks at spending and the impact that has on a community, but it does not measure how a university system changes the quality of life in its community.

'Our studies focus on spending and its economic impact, but do not attempt to measure the value the University System adds in terms of quality of life, the creation of a highly educated workforce to meet the needs of businesses, government, and communities or the overall health of communities,' Humphreys added. 'Clayton State University's direct economic effects on the region are gratifying,' said Clayton State University President Dr. Thomas Hynes. 'But the data serves only as a hint of other impacts for our community. The data shows payments to artists in Spivey Hall, but not the value of bringing exceptional art to our community. It records the salaries of Ameri-Corps students serving in Clayton County Public schools, but not the long-term effects on students in those schools who benefit from their tutoring.'

In this current study, Clayton State is ranked fourth behind Kennesaw State, the University of West Georgia, and the University of North Georgia.

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