Northeast State's impact estimated at $280 million

Rick Wagner • Apr 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Northeast State Technical Community College made an almost $280 million economic impact on the region over the past five years, according to a study.

From 2002 to 2007, Northeast State contributed more than $279.7 million to the college’s five-county service area — an average of $56 million per year — according to an economic impact analysis released in February.

“The study reinforces Northeast State’s position on the need for an educated work force in the region,” Northeast State President Bill Locke said in a news release.

The study was conducted by educational consultant Fred Martin of Knoxville. The study focused on three major aspects: business volume generated by college expenditures; full-time jobs created by Northeast State's presence; and individual income generated by college expenditures.

The study’s results found:

•Local business volume generated by the college’s expenditures topped $140 million from 2002-2007.

•Individual income generated by the college’s expenditures exceeded $139 million over the five-year period.

•Local full-time jobs created and sustained by Northeast State’s presence was 10,305 during 2002-2007, including the college’s own 1,307 full-time employees counted over the five-year period.

The study found local investment into Northeast State draws a significant return to the region, too.

Every $1 of local revenues invested in Northeast State generated $2.90 of local business volume and individual income from $2.89 to $3.22, the study found. Those numbers represent a return on investment of $5.79 to $6.12 on each $1 of local investment.

“When you factor in the value that results from having a trained and educated work force available to local employers, the importance of this economic impact is also pretty valuable,” Locke said.

Northeast State has experienced enrollment increases in nine of the last 10 fall semesters. The spring 2008 graduating class is expected to exceed 800 students for the second consecutive year.

The college provides university parallel programs for students desiring to transfer to another college or university; those seeking degrees in business, technical, health-related professions and other careers; and continuing education and community service programs. Its service area is Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties.

In addition to the main campus in Blountville, Northeast State has sites in Elizabethton, Gray, Kingsport and Mountain City and provides courses at other off-campus facilities.

The new Northeast State Regional Center for Health Professions — formerly called the Allied Health Building — will open for classes in downtown Kingsport in August. The facility will house the six academic programs under the college’s Division of Health-Related Professions.

In 2009, the Kingsport Center for Higher Education will open downtown, managed by Northeast State, and will have classes from Northeast State, King College and other institutions.

Approximately 3,000 students are expected to be attending class downtown in a few years, including students at the existing Regional Center for Applied Technology.

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