Westwood’s Economic Impact in 2016 to Mitchell County = $8,186,997

Economic Impact Analysis      |     Westwood School      |     Mitchell County, GA

February 7, 2017

Camilla, GA  ……. An economic impact analysis was recently prepared to determine Westwood’s impact on the local community’s economy.  Dr. Jeff Gibbs, Professor Emeritus of Economics and the retired Dean of the Stafford School of Business at ABAC conducted the economic impact analysis from the school’s annual operating budget.  “Westwood creates substantial economic impact in terms of value-added (gross regional product) and employment,” Gibbs said.  “The economic impact of Westwood School on its host community (Mitchell County) in 2016 includes $8,186,997 in output.”

Value Added – shows the total income that the project generates in the local economy.

Gibbs included in his calculations Westwood’s initial annual spending of $2,934,799 which covers operating expenses, personnel costs, plus additional operational support funded by Booster Club, Grandparents’ Club and Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO).  “These projections are from identifiable direct expenditures from Westwood, “ Gibbs said.

Direct Effect – the initial changes in employment, income, or output that trigger the first round of spending.

Next, Gibbs added to the direct expenses a conservative estimate of local spending per student of $1,000 each year for food, gas, and school supplies.  With this projected spending per student added to the expenditures, the direct impact for Westwood is $3,274,799 for 2016.

By using the industry standard of a 2.5 multiplier for the expanded impact, this creates an overall economic impact of $8,186,997 to Mitchell County’s economy attributed to the activities at the Fuller Street campus.

“There are many other tangible economic benefits to our community from Westwood that can not be put into a formula or calculated,” stated Ross Worsham, Westwood’s Headmaster.  Those benefits include but are not limited to spending by visitors from other institutions who travel here for extra-curricular activities such as football, basketball, baseball, tennis, softball, track, literary and other events held in Camilla throughout the year.

Indirect Effect – the changes in employment, income, or output in subsequent rounds of re‐spending that arise through purchases from local supplier industries.

Gibbs also noted an additional benefit that local businesses gain from easy access to a pool of part-time workers, spouses and other family members of faculty, staff or students who are employed locally.   “There is also a large inventory of human resource volunteers available for public service or non-profit volunteerism within the community,” Gibbs said.

Projected employement changes based on Westwood’s employment:

In additional to Dr. Gibbs analysis, Paige Gilchrist, Economic Development Director of Mitchell County, provided data calculated by the Electric Cities of Georgia’s Office of Economic and Community Development. Gilchrist advised that “the IMPLAN model of input‐output was used to analyze economic impact.”   IMPLAN estimates the impact by sector and calculates the direct, indirect, and induced effects.

Induced Effect – created when payrolls increase and workers in affected industry sectors spend more on local goods and services (household spending).

The estimates are based on Westwood’s employment of 46 full‐time employees and 16 part‐time part-time positions.   Based upon the 62 employees at the school, the Economic and Community Development office estimates that 8 additional jobs in other sectors within the local community have been created as a result.  This “labor income” results in an estimated increase of $213,932 in other sectors of Mitchell County.

Bottom line, this means that Westwood is good for the local economy.  “A larger, more diverse variety of businesses and other organizations are due to a larger market generated in part by the presence of Westwood,” Gibbs said.

Westwood recently added an 8,000 square foot elementary education building at a cost of $1,050,000 which was not calculated in the 2016 economic impact analysis yet positively benefited many sectors within the local economy. Since this addition, the elementary school has expanded its music and art programs thanks to several gracious donors.  Additionally, due to the generosity of ADM-Golden Peanut and Tree Nuts, an Elementary Technology Lab will be introduced next month.

Worsham is glad to know that Westwood has a positive financial impact on the community, but states that is not the driving force behind why the staff of qualified educators teach students every day. Worsham said, “It’s because Westwood is a college-preparatory school.  Our teachers are inspiring our students to reach their full potential to become productive, success citizens of Christian character.”