N.C. A&T's Economic Value

The people of North Carolina have made a major investment in North Carolina A&T State University, and that investment is paying off well, Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr., told a group of Greensboro business and political leaders.

Martin released the results of studies of N.C. A&T’s economic impact on the Triad region and the state. They were conducted by the University of North Carolina system, along with similar studies for each UNC university and the overall system.

“A&T has made significant social and economic impacts, globally and right here in our region and state,” Martin said.

“As a public institution of higher learning, we are tasked with being stewards of our state’s tax dollars while offering our students a high-quality education. A higher education is the biggest investment that can be made toward training the global leaders of tomorrow.”

As a result of the public investment made in A&T in fiscal 2012-13:

  • The $259.5 million in payroll and operations spending of N.C. A&T, together with its construction spending and the spending of its students, visitors, alumni and start-up companies, created $979.1 million in added state income. This is equivalent to creating 15,909 new jobs in the state.
  • The university gave the community and state taxpayers a return on its investment of $656.2 million in added regional income. That is the equivalent of creating 10,682 jobs in Guilford, Forsyth, Alamance, Rockingham and Randolph counties.
  • For every dollar the state invests into the education of an A&T student, it gains $10.30 in added state income and social savings.
  • And for every dollar invested by taxpayers, $4.20 is gained in added taxes and public sector savings. The average annual return on investment for taxpayers is 12.1 percent.

“These numbers represent the commitment of our students and alumni to make the Piedmont Triad and North Carolina their home and to create jobs through the entrepreneurship, innovation and impactful research,” Martin said.

“These numbers mean North Carolina A&T and the A&T family are doing their part to secure the region and state’s economic growth.”

Local leaders' views

Martin invited three of Greensboro’s business and political leaders to give their perspective on the A&T’s economic impact.

Ed Kitchen, vice president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro, on A&T’s impact on economic development: “The university’s commitment to educating students at such a high level and its innovative research make it easier to market the Piedmont Triad as a place for industry. An educated workforce increases the amount and diversity of industries that want to come to this area.”

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, on A&T’s local impact: “A&T students live, work and shop here, and their dollars multiply throughout the city and the region, creating jobs and opportunities for Greensboro residents. The university continues to stimulate our local economy through visitor spending … In the 2012-13 fiscal year alone, A&T generated more than $39 million in visitor spending.”

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, on the impact of A&T research: “Now, 124 years after the establishment of this university, it continues as a public, doctoral/research institution that continues to remain third in research dollars in the UNC System. That is a great deal of what this is all about – generating additional research funding for A&T faculty and students as they make great strides in solving complex problems in engineering, food science, Alzheimer’s and many other disciplines of study. An investment in the education of A&T students yields additional research dollars that add to their educational experiences, increase retention as well as attract and retain some of the world’s best and brightest faculty researchers.”

About the studies

The economic impact studies were compiled by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). The conservative model used (a Social Accounting Matrix input-output model) takes into account that dollars invested in A&T and other universities could have been used for other purposes in the state.

Since 2000, EMSI has completed economic impact studies for educational institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Its website is www.economicmodeling.com.

The data and assumptions used are based on 2012-13 academic and financial reports from the higher education institutions, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, and additional sources.

The study was funded by the North Carolina Business Higher Ed Foundation, the N.C. Community Colleges Foundation, the University of North Carolina system (from non-state funds) and the 36 campuses of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.