Chattanooga State Generates $169M Annual Economic Impact

September 16, 2020 | Betty A. Proctor | Internal Press Release

economic impact

A recent economic impact study shows that Chattanooga State Community College pumped in an average of $169 million per year into the local economy during the five-year period 2014 through 2019.

The analysis of this study on the College’s service area (Hamilton, Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie counties) indicated that the value of business volume and individual income generated a return on investment of $844 million and created 30,875 jobs.

Fred Martin, an educational consultant who completed the study, says local business volume—the total amount generated locally by businesses from the College’s direct and indirect expenditures—was $426 million for the five-year period. Of that total, more than $341 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state/federal contracts and grants, and state/federal student financial aid revenues, with more than 90% of those revenues coming from “new,” non-local, and state/federal revenues.

Although Chattanooga State had an average of 692 full-time-equivalent employees per year during the period, the total employment created by the College’s expenditures was estimated at 30,875 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 24,121 jobs were created by external or new funds.

Using the more conservative of two different calculations, the study estimated that the impact of the College’s expenditures on individual income amounted to about $418 million during 2014-2019, of which $348 million came from non-local revenues.

Of the College’s $844 million total economic impact, about $689 million, or $138 million per year, is due to the infusion of new external/non-local revenues. This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Chattanooga State in the area.

The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Chattanooga State generated a return on investment (ROI) of about $2.41 in local business volume. The individual income ROI was at least $2.36, for a total ROI of at least $4.77 on the local dollar.

The study also estimated that an associate degree graduate could expect to earn about $470,000 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Chattanooga State graduates, this difference could mean an additional $507 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $2 million in additional annual tax payments.

Chattanooga State graduates have a proven track record of filling jobs with a 97% job placement rate for 5,225 associate degree recipients during a five-year average.

Finally, the study described a number of benefits to society that are proven to accompany higher levels of education, including lower unemployment, reduced poverty, decreased crime and incarceration rates, and improved personal health.

 The results of this economic impact study reinforce that Chattanooga State is a major contributor to the economic base of the community for jobs created, business volume generated, and personal income earned.

“Our economic and social impact is a critical way we achieve our mission,” stated Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State. “These data demonstrates that we are improving the lives of our students and the prosperity of our community.”