Study details impressive economic impact of Alabama Technology Network
A new study published in recent days by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research found that the Alabama Technology Network (ATN) provides a sizable net positive economic impact to the Yellowhammer State.
ATN, an entity of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), serves as Alabama’s center for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Alabama Technology Network is well regarded for providing extensive training and service offerings for job creators across business and industry.
The W.E. Upjohn Institute was engaged by ATN to quantitatively analyze the overall effect of the organization’s projects on the state of Alabama’s economy. The findings were eye-catching.
The study estimated that in 2018, total state employment was impacted by an additional 8,148 jobs because of ATN’s work with manufacturers in the state. This estimate included direct, indirect and induced jobs generated by ATN client projects. These jobs also support additional manufacturing jobs critical to Alabama’s and the nation’s supply chains and jobs outside of manufacturing.
Additionally, the Upjohn study examined topline areas of ATN’s projected economic impact to the state, including: a contribution to Alabama’s GDP of $893 million; additional personal income of $437 million; and an effect on the state’s gross output of $2.26 billion.
Another important aspect of the study was measuring the effect of government dollars invested in ATN.
The study reported that the $1.8 million federal dollars invested in ATN during Fiscal Year 2018 generated nearly a 25.08:1 increase in state personal income tax. Then, the return on investment of state funds invested was 9.67:1. This created a net positive return to the state treasury of an estimated $45 million.
It should be further noted that the study only looked at personal income tax and not business taxes generated, so these figures could be considered a conservative estimate of the return on investment.
Overall, the study also provided a conservative estimate of broader impacts as they were based on only completed surveys and do not include estimates of additional impacts of center-activities for non-respondents to client-based surveys on cost saving, investment, employment and sales changes as collected by an outside firm. The firm, Fors Marsh, worked not only to collect data from ATN clients but also collects the same data for all MEP centers across the country.
The NIST MEP program is a public-private partnership created in 1988 to improve the global competitiveness and productivity of America’s small manufacturers. MEP has Centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers.
You can read the full study here.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn