SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new report is showing us just what kind of impact SCAD has on Georgia’s economy.
The study was done just six months ago and says SCAD generates more than $766 million annually to the state and in Savannah $577 million.
“Today, SCAD has not only transformed the historic port city of Savannah but has brought its unique blend of old and new — future-oriented, technologically advanced professional preparation offered in dazzling, refurbished old buildings — to Hong Kong, Lacoste, and Atlanta,” said SCAD President and Founder and Paula Wallace. “The ripple effects of SCAD throughout communities across the world by our 45,000 alumni contributing to the future growth of professions is unquantifiable. The SCAD economic impact study demonstrates that SCAD is key to a safer city, a smarter citizen, and a sound economy.”
You can see their mark on the city nearly everywhere, from buildings to bikes. For the past 40 years SCAD has been a part of Savannah.
“We’re a fabric of the community," said Audra Pittman, Vice President of SCAD Atlanta. "We’re telling stories, we’re preserving the history and we’re the reason that people want to visit.”
A new study from Tripp Umbach, paid for by SCAD, shows the university has an economic impact of $577 million and employs more than 6,700 people here in Savannah. In addition they say several of their students stay and make Georgia their home.
“Twenty-two percent of our students stay right here in Georgia so after they graduate they are starting businesses, we have over 50 alumni businesses in Savannah, they are raising their family, they are buying homes they are community members,” said John Buckovich, Vice President of SCAD Savannah.
The study also shows SCAD events like the film festival and more bring in more than $48 million annually. Leaders at Visit Savannah say these events are just one of the ways they make Savannah a destination. Others includes restoring historic buildings and bringing international visitors.
“Bringing international visitors to town is great exposure because they are coming in from Europe, and they are coming in from Asia, and they are coming in from the Middle East, and so forth and those are the folks that become ambassadors for our city," said Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah.
While SCAD leaders are excited about the growth they have seen, they say they are far from done. They want to continue this momentum.
“We respond to the industry needs, so we’re preparing our students for careers in whatever industry it is. So if we look at what does Google need, what does Black Rock Financial Institution need, we’re responding to them and tailoring our degree programs to that so as long as they’re going we’re growing," said Pittman.
If you want to see a copy of the report, go here.