THE PARTNERSHIP GOAL
[su_quote]With Hanover, our institution has the support we need to move our initiatives forward.” -Lisa Wilson, Director of Sponsored Programs[/su_quote]
Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, President of Fort Valley State University, spearheaded the institution’s efforts in fall 2013 to provide key stakeholders with vital information illustrating FVSU’s economic impact on the local and statewide economies. When developing the conceptual framework for this initiative, Griffith stressed the importance of not only identifying Fort Valley State’s educational values, but also its gifts to the community and state as an economic enterprise.
It was within this construct that Lisa Wilson, Director of Sponsored Programs in FVSU’s External Affairs Division, established a partnership with Hanover Research in early 2014. Hanover serves as an effective extension of Wilson’ staff as well as a time-saving tool.
THE RESEARCH NEED
While the University System of Georgia (USG) already conducts annual economic impact reports on its 31 constituent institutions, FVSU desired a more detailed analysis focused on its specific economic and social impacts. To quantify FVSU’s influence on local, regional, and statewide economic development efforts, Wilson commissioned Hanover Research to perform both quantitative and qualitative economic impact analyses.
Hanover’s institution-specific evaluation provided the following insights to supplement the USG report:
- Expense-based analysis in addition to budget-based evaluation;
- Long-term economic benefits (e.g., contributions to workforce development, increased lifetime earning power associated with the degrees achieved by its graduates); and
- Long-term social benefits (e.g., FVSU-hosted student community service and volunteer work, cultural programs, athletic events).
Hanover’s methodology assessed not only demand-side inputs, but also intangible benefits to local residents. This analysis incorporated the elements listed in the image on the right.
THE INSTITUTIONAL VALUE
Hanover’s report validated that in fiscal year (FY) 2013, FVSU’s operating, capital, payroll, and student spending supported over 1,300 jobs and contributed nearly $139 million to the Georgia economy. Further, based on the estimated earning potential in the state of Georgia, FVSU’s graduating class of 2012 will earn nearly $9.5 million more per year than state residents lacking comparable education credentials.
An invested member of the Fort Valley community, FVSU operates programs now proven to support a diverse cross-section of local residents. FVSU’s impact on the local economy totaled nearly $90 million in FY 2013, and supported 1,000 jobs within a six-county region surrounding the institution. The output amount was fueled by $43 million in local spending within the region by FVSU and $25 million in spending by university students.
[su_pullquote]“The Hanover report provides more powerful evidence that our university is not only an influential educational enterprise, but also a formidable economic enterprise.”[/su_pullquote]
We are benefiting the surrounding communities in general, and businesses and other vendors, in particular,” said FVSU President Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith.
FVSU is sharing Hanover’s findings with the media, in key stakeholder meetings, and throughout the University System of Georgia. Stated Lisa Wilson, “Our institution is now spreading the word to show how our business of education directly benefits the businesses of our community.”
This data is immediately applicable not only to FVSU, but also to local enterprises and community leaders. Since the report’s release in August 2014, FVSU has briefed the Peach County Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority on the findings. Subsequently, the Chamber of Commerce has integrated the economic impact data into its marketing efforts to engage new business.