Pellissippi State generates $261 million annual economic impact

Pellissippi State Community College pumped an average of $261 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows.

The 26th annual analysis of the economic impact of the college on the Knox and Blount county area revealed that the value of business volume, jobs and individual income amounted to about $1.3 billion in the 2008-2013 period, or an average of $261 million each year.

Fred H. 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 $630 million for the five-year period. Of that total, $513 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state and federal contracts and grants, and federal and state student financial aid revenues.

Although Pellissippi State had an average of only 494 full-time-equivalent employees per year during the period, the total employment created and sustained by the college’s expenditures was estimated at 42,947 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 32,565 jobs were created by external or new funds.

Using the more conservative of two different calculations, Martin has estimated that the impact of the college’s expenditures on personal income in the area amounted to about $676 million during 2008-2013, of which $561 million came from external or new funds.

Of the college’s $1.3 billion total economic impact, about $1.1 billion ($214 million each year) could be attributed to the infusion of new non-local revenues.

“This impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” Martin said.

The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Pellissippi State generated a return on investment of about $3.67 in local business volume. The individual income generated ranged from $3.94 to $4.18, for a total return on investment of at least $7.61.

The study also estimated that a two-year associate’s degree graduate could expect to earn about $350,000 more over his or her work lifetime than if the individual had only a high school diploma. For the most recent class of Pellissippi State graduates, this difference could mean an additional $441 million in lifetime earnings, plus about $2.4 million in additional annual tax payments.

Finally, the study described a number of benefits to society that are proven to accompany higher levels of education.

“The results of this economic impact study clearly demonstrate that Pellissippi State continues to be a major contributor to the economic base of Knox and Blount counties,” Martin said. “This economic impact is expressed in this study in terms of jobs created, business volume generated and personal income earned.”

The complete study is available on the following website: www.pstcc.edu/departments/institutional_research/economic/eis_2008-2013.pdf.