Dr. Anthony O. Parker

The twenty-two colleges that are a part of the Technical College System of Georgia have a disproportionally large economic impact on the communities that they serve. Technical College students are likely to live in communities near their campus. Eighty-five percent (85%) of Albany Technical College students reside in Dougherty, Lee, Terrell, Worth, and Mitchell counties. Technical College students will likely resolve workforce shortages in communities near their homes. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Albany Technical College’s graduates are employed within a 25 miles radius of downtown Albany, Georgia.

The income earned by technical college graduates is significantly higher than high school graduates and GED attainders.  The incomes earned by technical college graduates are comparable and often better than some bachelor degree graduates.  All TCSG associate degree graduates have an opportunity to eventually earn bachelor’s degrees at least one public or private university.  Albany Technical College offers 43 associate degrees with pathways to 14 four-year colleges and universities.

Because TCSG’s graduates are usually employed in or near their hometowns, their income increases commerce where they live.  They open bank accounts near home.  They purchase more durable goods such as washing machines, dryers, TVs, and refrigerators from retailers located near their homes.  They add to sales, property, and ad valorem tax revenues.  They are far more likely to purchase a house or start a business in their home towns.  I believe that TCSG graduates are far more likely to secure employment that has health insurance as a benefit.  Consequently, their families are more likely to consume medical services that create preventive or predictive outcomes.  Technical College graduates are likely to consume medical services at a better price point.  Technical College graduates are far less likely to need indigent care.

Students and graduates of the Technical College System of Georgia add to regional commerce.  Are we doing all that we can to create affluence through increasing commerce?  It benefits each of us when unemployment and under-employment are both replaced by gainful employment at or above a living wage.