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Paine College Makes Million Dollar Economic Impact to Augusta/Richmond County

Paine College is an important economic engine in its community, generating substantial economic returns year after year, and a new landmark study commissioned by UNCF (United Negro College Fund) confirms it. 

Paine College is one of 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities supported by the Black College Fund.

HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities documents the significant economic contributions of Paine College and the nation's network of HBCUs by quantifying their impact on the economy, employment and increased earning power of their students. The study was underwritten by Citi Foundation and the economic estimates were prepared by the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth. Key findings of the study are below: 

  • Paine College generates $33 million in total economic impact.
  • Paine College generates 400 jobs for the local and regional economies 
  • The 2014 graduates of Paine can expect to earn $274 Million over their lifetimes, 77 percent more than they could expect to earn without a college credential.
  • Paine College 2015 valedictorian, Sharifah Williams, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and emphasis in Journalism. In 2016, Ms. Williams graduated from New York University Tandon School of Engineering with a Master of Science in Management Technology. And, Earl L. Ishmal, Principal of Blakeney Elementary School in Burke County, taught in the Richmond County Public School system for eight years after having graduated from Paine in 1999. He remained in the area for 20 years serving in the public school systems. 

The presence of Paine College in this area means a $33 million boost to the area's economic activity, on-campus, off-campus, and well beyond the campus, contributing to stronger growth and stronger communities. 

This study makes clear that while benefits flow to Paine College graduates who enter the workforce with sharper skills and vastly enhanced earning prospects, these benefits also flow to the local and regional economies connected to Augusta/Richmond County.  

According to Dr. Jerry Hardee, Paine's President, "HBCUs like Paine are vibrant institutions in their communities and are creating jobs and increasing economic expenditures in our surrounding community, as well as educating and preparing our students for the 21st century." 

"This new report changes the narrative and demonstrates that HBCUs, like Paine are feeding the community's need for a college-educated workforce and driving economic growth," said UNCF's President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax. "These institutions have led the way in developing and polishing the practices necessary to get under-prepared, first-generation students ready for college, but they also help fill critical jobs with college-educated workers in the community."

HBCUs have long been bastions of academic achievement. It is clear to see, however, that the value of Paine College is not solely confined to educational impacts. HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities demonstrates that Paine College matters not only to its students, but also to the local, regional and national economies.

Paine College website

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.

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