Pellissippi State generates $158.6 million annual economic impact

Pellissippi State Community College pumped an average of $158.6 million each year into the local economy over the past five years, a recent study shows.

The 22nd 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 $793 million in the 2004-2009 period, or $158.6 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 $388 million for the five-year period. Of that total, more than $302 million came from non-local revenues, such as state appropriations, state and federal contracts and grants, and federal and state student financial aid.

Although Pellissippi State had an average of only 439 full-time-equivalent employees per year during the period, the total employment created by the college’s expenditures was estimated at 27,168 jobs for the five years. Of that number, 20,901 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 $405 million during 2004-2009, of which $321 million came from external or new funds.

Of the college’s $793 million total economic impact, about $623 million ($125 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,” said Martin.

The economic impact study notes that each dollar of local revenue coming into Pellissippi State generated a “return on investment” of about $3.47 in local business volume. The individual income generated ranged from $3.61 to $3.91, for a total return on investment of at least $7.08.

The study also estimated that graduates with a two-year associate’s degree could expect to earn about $350,000 more over their work lifetime than those with only a high school diploma. 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. “The economic impact is expressed in this study in terms of jobs created, business volume generated and personal income earned.”

For more information about the college, visit the Web site at

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