Arkin began his presentation with some statistics and a map.
“These 35 institutions here have an annual economic impact of $12.1 billion,” he said, referring to the schools making up the University System of Georgia.
The university system also generates 108,000 jobs, 39 percent on campus and 61 percent in the public and private sector.
Although the biggest spenders were UGA-Athens, Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, local colleges and universities have an impact as well.
Clayton State University had a $198 million impact, Gordon College $102 million and UGA-Griffin $50 million. Arkin said UGA-Griffin generated 763 jobs in the community.
Arkin said the new Student Learning Center, paid for by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), is already having an impact.
Although the campus only has 200 students, the building can accommodate between 800 and 1,000.
In addition to being used for education, the building has been used for special events.
With the building came design for a master plan — new roads and buildings. Some roads are already being built in the eastern part of the campus. Without the SPLOST, this would not have happened.
Arkin listed three primary “business impact engines” on campus — the Center for Urban Agriculture, the Center for Food Safety and the newest one, the Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center.
The continuing-education program also attracts 17,000 visitors to Griffin, bringing $1 million to the community.
The campus also engages in community-service initiatives, like the Young Scholars Program and The Enrichment of Young Minds.