News Release

Dalton State’s Regional Economic Impact Exceeds $122 Million

July 10, 2012

Belltower in the autumn
Dalton State College pumped more than $122 million into regional economy from July 2010 through June 2011.

Dalton State College remains a significant economic driver for Northwest Georgia, pumping more than $122 million into the regional economy last year and creating more than 1,500 jobs, according to a report released Tuesday by the University System of Georgia.

The report, which measures economic impact of the System’s 35 member institutions, covers the 2011 fiscal year, July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, and was compiled by the Selig Center for Economic Growth of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

“This report covers the period of Dalton State’s peak enrollment and effectively demonstrates that colleges are significant economic drivers for the communities and regions in which they are located,” said Dalton State President Dr. John O. Schwenn. “More students on campus translates into more dollars in the community. Our enrollment peak of 5,988 students in fall 2010 resulted in the hiring of more faculty and staff on campus, as well as more employees throughout the region to provide the goods and services required by our increased number of students, faculty, and staff.”

The total economic impact to the Northwest Georgia region was $122,610,490, up 6.7 percent from the prior year; the number of full and part-time jobs sustained by Dalton State dollars was 1,559, down one percent from the prior year but up 36 percent from two years before.

Initial spending by Dalton State equaled $114,490,167; this spending included salaries and fringe benefits, operating supplies and expenses, and other budgeted expenditures. The remaining $8,120,323 in economic impact was created by re-spending – the multiplier effect of those dollars as they are spent again within the region which includes Whitfield, Murray, Catoosa, Gordon, Walker, and Gilmer counties.

“The economic impact of Dalton State is felt, not only in Greater Dalton, but throughout the entire region,” said Elyse Cochran, Executive Director/Senior Vice President for Economic Development for the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce. “As we aggressively market our community as a viable location to prospective new companies, Dalton State is clearly one of our greatest and most attractive community attributes, not to mention the value the institution provides to existing business by contributing greatly to their emerging and future workforce needs.”

“The two best things our local community has going for it are the carpet industry and Dalton State College,” said Dalton Mayor David Pennington. “Building a more successful community runs right through College Drive.”

The value of the College to the region extends beyond mere dollars, a fact affirmed by Whitfield County Commission Chair Mike Babb. “This study proves yet again that the College plays a vital role in the vitality and prosperity of our county and the region. Not only does it contribute in a significant way to our economic health, but also to our workforce development, and our overall quality of life.”

According to the Selig study, the University System had a $12.6 billion impact on the state’s economy during Fiscal Year 2010.

The study shows that between FY2007 and FY2011, total spending by all 35 USG institutions and their students rose by 30 percent, and the number of jobs that owe their existence to that spending rose by 24 percent, from 106,267 jobs to 131,990.

“That job growth is quite impressive given that the state’s total employment declined by 7 percent during this period,” said study author Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, director of the Selig Center.

One striking finding is that university or college-related spending creates far more jobs off the campus than it does on the campus. On average, for each job that exists on campus, two off-campus jobs exist because of spending related to the institution. Almost all of the off-campus jobs are in private sector businesses.

The Selig Center’s research has its limitations – it neither quantifies the many long-term benefits that a higher-education institution and its outreach and service units impart to its host community’s economic development nor does it measure intangible benefits, such as cultural opportunities, intellectual stimulation and volunteer work, to local residents. Spending by USG retirees (Dalton State has 115 retired employees) who still live in the host communities and by visitors to USG institutions is not measured.

For the entire FY2011 Economic Impact Study, please visit

Dalton State Economic Impact to Region
Year Economic Impact (Unadjusted $) Employment Impact (Jobs)
FY2011 $122,610,490 1,559
FY2010 $114,812,410 1,581
FY2009 $108,627,435 1,143
FY2008 $96,010,983 1,053
FY2007 $87,548,854 949
FY2004 $73,636,446 937
Dalton State, 650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
706.272.4436 • 1.800.829.4436 •