Five Hull College of Business students summed up a semester’s worth of work on Thurs., Dec. 2, by providing an economic impact study of Savannah River Site (SRS) at the annual meeting of the SRS Community Reuse Organization.
The 20-minute presentation covered demographics, employment projections, and the impact of the site on small businesses. The organization sponsored scholarships and funded the research, conducted through a special class during the fall semester.
Students, under the direction of economics professor Simon Medcalfe, Ph.D., analyzed data from Richmond and Columbia counties in Georgia, along with Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties in South Carolina, to determine the direct and indirect economic impact from the government site.
The class participants, Rachel Boyd, Jessica Collins, Caleb Hawkins, Herick Isago, and Travis Smith, each received a $1,000 scholarship.
The students worked with the organization to collect the data from contractors and government agencies to use in the study and run the data through IMPLAN, economic modeling software commonly used by economic development professionals.
Medcalfe was involved in two previous studies, in 2011 and 2017, which showed the economic impact of SRS to be more than $2 billion on the five-county region.
In the reflections portion of the presentation, Collins said she enjoyed completing a project from beginning to end.
Hawkins, who is graduating this December, said he was thankful for the chance of working on the study. “My take-away from the experience was the real-life look at business impact on the economy,” he said.
Representatives of SRSCRO will take the research and presentation and develop it into a report for the public.