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Pellissippi State generates $3.6 billion economic impact over 20 years

pellissippi state
Pellissippi State's Hardin Valley campus. Image courtesy of PS

KNOXVILLE -- For many years, Pellissippi State Community College has measured its economic impact in East Tennessee. Since 1997, the college has contributed an estimated $3.6 billion in economic impact to Knox and Blount counties. Additionally, there have been approximately 122,245 jobs generated over the past 20 years as a result of the college's presence.

In its most recent economic impact study, Pellissippi State reports a combined economic impact of $1.3 billion for the years from 2012 to 2017, as measured by the value of business volume, jobs and individual income in Knox and Blount counties that is tied to Pellissippi State.

"Since 1974, this college has had an integral place in East Tennessee that is measured not just by economic impact, but by social impact. We at Pellissippi State are devoted to changing the lives of everyone who steps through our doors," said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. "Our greatest impact will always be that made by our students and graduates as they pursue their dreams and give back to our community."

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, associate degree graduates can expect to earn about $470,800 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma. For Pellissippi State's 1,455 graduates in academic year 2016-2017, this means an additional $685 million in lifetime earnings and $2.8 million in additional annual tax payments that benefit the economy.

The 2012-2017 economic impact report also studied the business volume and individual income impact of Pellissippi State on the local economy:

• $617 million in business volume impact from 2012-2017, $481 million of which came from non-local revenues such as state appropriations, grants, contracts and federal student financial aid revenues
• $649 million in personal income impact over the past five years, including $518 million from new or external funds

Pellissippi State expenditures created and sustained an estimated 42,479 jobs, 32,000 of which were created by external or new funds, from 2012-2017. The college itself employed 2,801 full-time employees during the five-year period.

Of the college's $1.3 billion in total impact over the past five years, the majority - $999 million - can be attributed to the infusion of new, non-local revenues. Every single dollar of local revenue that comes into Pellissippi State generates an estimated annual return on investment of at least $6.20, comprising $3.02 in local business volume plus at least $3.18 in individual income.

"This total economic and social impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area," said educational consultant Fred H. Martin, who conducted the study.

Published February 20, 2018

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