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Spending Associated with Okefenokee Technical College has $17,807,595 Impact in Region




UGA economist: technical colleges are ‘an enduring pillar’ of state’s regional economy

(Waycross)- How much does the area served by Okefenokee Technical College benefit economically from spending that is either directly or indirectly related to the college?

According to Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, it adds up to $17,807,595.

The economic impact is in a new report from Dr. Humphreys that details his analysis of economic data from the Technical College System of Georgia for the 2012 fiscal year.

The study also found that the college’s spending results in 233 public and private sector jobs. Humphreys reported that statewide, for each job created on a TCSG college campus, one off-campus job exists because of college-related expenditures.  One in every 264 nonfarm jobs in Georgia, he said, occurs because of spending associated with a TCSG college.

"The fundamental finding is that each of the TCSG colleges, including Okefenokee Technical College, creates substantial economic impacts in terms of output, value added, labor income, and employment. These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on technical colleges as an enduring pillar of the regional economy translates into jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses,” said Humphreys.

The TCSG commissioned Humphreys to calculate the importance that spending connected to the state’s technical colleges has for their service delivery areas, which range in size from two to eleven counties.  Okefenokee Technical College serves six counties to include Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Pierce, and Ware counties.  Several categories of college expenditures were reviewed for the study, including personnel salaries and fringe benefits, college operations, capital construction projects, and student spending, to name a few.

The result, put in the context of the taxpayer investment, indicated that the $5,381,740 state appropriation for Okefenokee Technical College in 2012 supported the enrollment of 2,069 students, generated $17,807,595 in local spending, and helped to sustain almost 233 college-related jobs.

In July 2014, Altamaha Technical College and Okefenokee Technical College will be merging to become Coastal Pines Technical College.  According to this same study, Altamaha Technical College, serving Appling, Camden, Glynn, Jeff Davis, Long, McIntosh and Wayne counties, received a state appropriation of $ 7,103,103, which supported the enrollment of 2,257 students.  This state taxpayer investment generated $20,410,617 in local spending, and helped to sustain approximately 274 jobs.  Upon the merger, Coastal Pines Technical College will be ranked 15th in size based on enrollment of the Georgia technical colleges and will generate approximately $38, 018,212 in local spending in the region and help sustain over 500 jobs.  According to Dr. Glenn Deibert, president of Okefenokee Technical College and incoming president of Coastal Pines Technical College, "This merger will result in financial savings to the state through a more streamlined operation and will produce an even greater return on the state's investment in technical education in Southeast Georgia."

 Statewide, the $315 million state appropriation for the TCSG in 2012 helped to train almost 153,000 technical college students, contributed $1.2 billion in direct and indirect spending in communities throughout Georgia, and was a factor in almost 15,000 public and private sector jobs.

“The spending factor alone is a sizable return on the state’s investment in the TCSG, and it would be significantly higher if we were to add the economic value that our graduates create once they leave college and meet employers’ needs for a skilled workforce,” said Ron Jackson, commissioner of the TCSG.

The study did not attempt to measure the value in terms of the increased earnings of TCSG graduates or the colleges’ role in helping the state attract and retain companies with high-skill, good-paying jobs.  Nor did it calculate the impact of the TCSG’s Quick Start program, a state economic development incentive that provides customized training free of charge to new and expanding businesses.

The full report, The Economic Impact of Technical College System of Georgia Institutions on their Service Delivery Area Economies in FY 2012, is available online at

The following is a list of the 24 TCSG colleges and their economic and employment impact on their service delivery areas in 2012.  For a map of the colleges’ service delivery areas go to

TCSG College

 Impact of


Employment Impact of FY2012 Spending (College-Related Jobs)

Albany Technical College



Altamaha Technical College



Athens Technical College



Atlanta Technical College



Augusta Technical College



Central Georgia Technical College *



Chattahoochee Technical College



Columbus Technical College



Georgia Northwestern Technical College



Georgia Piedmont Technical College



Gwinnett Technical College



Lanier Technical College



Middle Georgia Technical College *



Moultrie Technical College



North Georgia Technical College



Oconee Fall Line Technical College



Ogeechee Technical College



Okefenokee Technical College



Savannah Technical College



South Georgia Technical College



Southeastern Technical College



Southern Crescent Technical College



Southwest Georgia Technical College



West Georgia Technical College



Wiregrass Georgia Technical College



TCSG System Total



 *colleges merged as the new Central Georgia Technical College in July 2013



About Okefenokee Technical College: Okefenokee Technical College (OTC), a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, offers affordable education and excellent training in more than 80 certificate, diploma and two-year associate degree programs. Students of all ages take advantage of low tuition, outstanding instructors, hands-on learning and state-of-the-art equipment to gain the skills needed for today’s in-demand jobs.

In AY 2013, Okefenokee Technical College delivered instruction to more than 1,990 students, 157 of which were high school students enrolled in dual credit programs. OTC is online, too, serving 593 students through the system’s Georgia Virtual Technical Connection.

Okefenokee Tech students enjoy the benefits of Georgia’s HOPE grant and scholarship and the federal Pell grant, which can pay for a significant portion of a TCSG education.

The Office of Adult Education delivered programs to 914 adult learners in AY 2013, including GED preparation and testing services that enabled 308 men and women to earn a GED credential.

For more information about Okefenokee Technical College, visit

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