A recent study estimates that the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg has a vast impact on the economy, responsible for in excess of $15 million in annual local spending in Sampson County.
Mark Strickland, director of the N.C. Justice Academy, presented an economic study to the Sampson County Board of Commissioners during the board’s regular meeting earlier this week. The study was prepared by NCJA intern Barbara Parks.
The report examined the economic impact of the N.C. Justice Academy campuses in Sampson (east campus) and Henderson (west campus) counties. Completed from May to July 2011, the study had the goal of measuring the economic impact the academy had in each area during 2010.
Established in 1973, the NCJA has served to train thousands of criminal justice personnel each year from state agencies, while providing a site for outside agencies to conduct their own training. Additionally, the NCJA has been responsible for developing and distributing standardized commissioned training curriculum for the state.
“Over the years, we know that we have made an economic impact in Sampson County and Henderson County,” said Strickland. “We are continuing to grow in providing training for our officers and law enforcement across the state.”
While it is clear the academy “has had a profound effect on the local areas of its two campuses, the true economic impact had never before been quantified,” the report stated.
Strickland focused on Sampson, which is home to the larger of the two campuses.
In 2010, the NCJA East Campus in Salemburg contributed a total estimated economical impact of $15,594,642 to Sampson County. This included direct spending ($9.8 million), indirect spending ($4 million) and induced spending ($1.8 million) during the year, according to the study.
“It’s amazing,” said Board of Commissioners chairman Billy Lockamy. “I never would have thought $15 million in direct and indirect money.”
There are 14,184 students who took courses at the Sampson campus responsible for student-related impact of $8,855,021 and 72 employees responsible for contributions of $2,068,851, the study stated. The operations from the campus provided an additional $4,670,770 in impact.
Just as much as the dollar figures, county manager Ed Causey was impressed with the number of students who come in and out of Salemburg each year.
“That’s 14,000 students in the past year,” said Causey. “That almost sounds bigger than the $15 million. That’s great that number of people are coming in the county. We appreciate it.”
As a point of comparison, the Henderson campus located in Edneyville hosted nearly 6,500 students during 2010 and contributed a total estimated economical impact of just over $6 million.
Several economic impact studies were consulted in doing developing the NCJA study. In order to gauge the amount of spending by the academy, staff and students, spending records were consulted and expenses such as wages paid to county residents, purchases of goods and services from local businesses and utilities payments were calculated. Data on faculty and student spending were collected via surveys.
Among other questions, the surveys asked students to estimate daily expenditures in various categories, including food/drink and entertainment, as well as asked the number of times a guest visited them and what he or she may have spent. Staff members were asked to estimate monthly expenditures in various categories, circling a specific range. Similar to students, they were also asked about guests and their spending.
There were 206 student surveys collected from a total of 13 courses, to go with 39 staff surveys.
“The total economic impact of the North Carolina Justice Academy is found by adding direct, indirect and induced spending by the academy, its employees and its students at each campus,” the report stated.
The surveys collected were used to find the expenditures of the average student per course taken. The average student was found to spend approximately $45.88 each day, or an average of $389.97 per course. That average multiplied by 14,148 students brought the direct expenditures by students to more than $5.53 million. The average student was found to have 0.015 guests during their stay, with the average guest spending $183.33, for a total of $37,869.90 in guest spending. That brings the total student-related spending to close to $5.57 million.
Using established variables for indirect and induced expenditures, at 0.41 and 0.18, respectively, the $5.57 million figure translated into an additional $2.28 million in indirect expenditures and $1 million in induced expenditures, bringing the total to $8.85 million.
Indirect expenditures measure the extent to which local businesses purchase items from other local businesses as a result of the money spend by the academy and its students and staff, such as the percent of food prepared at a local restaurant that is purchased locally. The induced effect measures any spending that occurs in the local economy as a result of the income paid by the businesses involved both directly and indirectly, such as the percent of wages paid to the cook at that same restaurant that is re-spent in the local economy.
On the staff side, the 39 staff surveys were used to find the average annual expenditures for the 72 employees, including 46 who reside within Sampson and 26 who reside outside the county’s borders. Those who live inside the county were found to spend an average of $2,109.52 in the county each month, while those who lived outside Sampson were found to spend an average of $418.33 in the county monthly.
Totaled, that brought the total staff expenditures to approximately $1.29 million. Throw in an average of 1.29 guests for county residents and 0.5 guests for non-county residents and the respective money spent by those guests, at approximately $86.30 and $83.33, total staff-related guest spending amounted to $6,187.14.
According to the study, Sampson spending by staff and their guests amounted to approximately $1.3 million in 2010. Using the same variables for indirect and induced expenditures, the total staff-related expenditures was $2.07 million.
“The economic contributions and impact made by the North Carolina Justice Academy in Henderson and Sampson counties is advantageous to both counties’ sustainability and growth,” the report concluded. “The academy’s staff and students boost spending in each county in many areas, especially food service, auto care and entertainment, with substantial dollars from outside of these areas. It is clear the the North Carolina Justice Academy provides a positive boost the local economies in both Henderson and Sampson counties.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.