Economic Impact of University of Memphis Studied

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“You gonna take a Lambuth campus that’s going to be otherwise abandoned and turn it into an asset,” explained Dr. John Gnuschke. He is a professor at the University of Memphis. Gnuschke spent months studying what a public institution can do for the City of Jackson. His study suggests that if the University of Memphis sets up in the Hub City, more graduates will stay in the city and more tax money will be spent. “That’s where taxes offset expenditures and that’s where they make the money,” he continued. Mayor Jerry Gist said the area needs the boost. According to him, only 11 percent of West Tennesseans have a bachelor’s degree, which he says is just too low. “That would place us in a position to educate our work force and of course put them in a better position,” said Mayor Gist. If 1,000 students attend the school in the fall, Gnuschke argues student spending in the city will add about $28 million to the Jackson economy, plus the school could employ about 200 people. “Jackson will have a stronger economy and Jackson will be able to attract employers that they might not have been able to attract,” explained Gnuschke. He encourages the stakeholders, including the city, county, JEA and West Tennessee Healthcare, to continue fighting for a four-year state institution in Jackson and especially for the University of Memphis.

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