The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) had an economic impact of $66.1 million on the statewide economy in fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018). Of that increased economic activity, $57.9 million of it occurred in the Southern Virginia region. These findings are from a newly released report examining the economic impact of the SVHEC on the local and statewide economy.
“We’ve always believed the SVHEC was having a significant economic impact on Southern Virginia, and now we have the data to support that belief,” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC executive director. “We pride ourselves on being good stewards of the dollars invested in the SVHEC, and this report shows that the citizens of the commonwealth — especially Southern Virginians — are getting an excellent return on their investment,” she continued.
The economic impact study was produced by Dr. Vincent Magnini at the Institute for Service Research, and commissioned by the SVHEC. Magnini is ranked as one of the top 12 most prolific hospitality researchers in the world, and he holds editorial board appointments on all of the top-ranked research journals in the field.
Magnini’s research showed that economic activity sustained by the SVHEC supported an estimated 481 full-time equivalent jobs in the state, and produced $23.3 million in labor income.
SVHEC economic activity also contributed approximately $5.7 million in federal tax revenues and $3.6 million in state and local tax revenues.
Southern Virginia’s economy reaped the most benefits from the SVHEC’s economic activities with 89 percent of the supported jobs and nearly 21 percent of the labor income being concentrated in the region.
“A skilled and educated workforce is vital to a community’s economic competitiveness. Accordingly, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is one of the most important community assets supporting Halifax County’s future prosperity and success,” said Matt DeVeau, project manager with Market Street Services, a leading strategic planning firm for community, workforce and economic development.
“This report validates qualitative input recently gathered for the Halifax County Community Strategic Plan,” Adams said. “During the public input process, including interviews, focus groups and surveys, the SVHEC emerged as a clear community strength and significant source of community pride. Stakeholders had high praise for SVHEC facilities, programs and diversity and quality of degree and training programs,” she continued.
Adams explained the SVHEC feeds the economy through direct activities such as purchasing supplies and equipment and through indirect measures like out-of-area visitors coming to the SVHEC for a class or conference and spending money in local stores, restaurants and hotels.
When individuals complete SVHEC workforce training programs, they go on to earn an additional $7,885 which leads to increased household spending and tax revenue.
“Every dollar that goes into the SVHEC is multiplied many times over making the SVHEC is an excellent community investment,” Adams said.
The economic impact study and accompanying infographic are available online at www.svhec.org/economic-impact-study.
The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is advancing Southern Virginia’s economic potential through education, innovation and collaboration.
The SVHEC provides educational access and workforce training and is focused on re-tooling Southern Virginia’s rural workforce for jobs in the new economy.