The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is responsible for $353 million in annual economic impact on the state of Tennessee, according to a new study.
According to the UT Knoxville Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, campuses and institutes of the University of Tennessee System directly contributed $3.5 billion in economic impact in fiscal year 2017. The campuses include UTC, UT Knoxville and UT Martin, as well as the Health Science Center in Memphis, the Space Institute in Tullahoma and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service.
“While it’s no surprise that UTC’s workforce, students and campus operations are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of annual impact on the Tennessee economy, there is an even more significant impact—on the economy, quality of life and opportunities for all citizens—resulting from our substantial contributions to the development of human capital and an educated workforce,” Chancellor Steve Angle said.
Commissioned by UT System administration, the study bases UTC’s impact on payroll and non-payroll spending, according to Larry Kessler, who prepared the study with Boyd Center Director William F. Fox.
“We looked more generally at the production of education and how much spending is involved in that,” Kessler said.
In Chattanooga, about 2,700 UTC employees impact the economy by using their salaries to pay for housing, food, entertainment and other items, he says. Those employees also generate economic impact by using benefits such as medical and dental coverage and retirement funds, which all generate spending.
Non-payroll spending by UTC—construction, supplies, maintenance and the companies that provide those services—as well as the money students spend on items such as books, restaurants and retail businesses are cited in the study.
Through all these elements, UTC created more than 8,300 jobs in the Chattanooga area and achieved an economic impact of $353.1 million in 2017, the year studied.