- Besides its direct benefits for participants
in its programs, the Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies at
The University of Southern Mississippi also has a significant impact
on the local economy, according to an analysis of the center.
The Center for Community and Economic Development
at Southern Miss recently partnered with the Karnes Center to complete
a study of the economic impact of the Center for Gifted Studies.
The report examined all of the programs conducted by the Karnes
Center over the last year, including those for elementary and secondary
school children and youth.
The programs included the Saturday Gifted Studies
Program, Summer Gifted Studies Program, and the Summer Program for
Academically Talented Youth. Included in the study were the Day
of Sharing for Teachers of the Gifted, conducted in both the spring
and fall semesters, and the Parenting Gifted Children Conference.
Data was also collected and analyzed on the number of graduate students
enrolled in classes in gifted education, and other information examined
included a federal grant and monies garnered from private donations.
Beyond the scope of the current study was the impact
of state funding in gifted education in the public schools.
"The study includes the impact components of
employment directly associated with the center, associated employment
as a result of a university-related multiplier and programming and
participant spending," said Mark Goodman, director of the Center
for Community and Economic Development.
Currently, the center directly employs seven full-time
equivalent (FTE) personnel and provides programming for nearly 1,000
participants annually through a variety of venues.
The analysis measures the center's economic impact
in several ways, including the direct economic impact associated
with the operation and employment of the facility; the indirect
economic impact associated with new businesses that the direct impact
generates throughout the economy; the induced economic impact that
the direct and indirect growth will have on the retail sector of
the state through expenditures by direct and indirect employees,
as well as through spending of nearly 1,000 participants throughout
the economy; revenues generated to Mississippi from sales, income,
and other taxes and revenues generated to local jurisdictions from
sales rebates and property taxes.
The direct employment refers to the seven FTE staff
members, including the director and other office staff, as well
as instructors for programming. The indirect jobs result from the
multiplier effect. These indirect effects include retailers and
service establishments, as well as suppliers to The University of
Southern Mississippi and other related jobs.
The induced jobs are created in the retail sector
from activity generated by the expenditures of the wages and salaries
paid to the direct and indirect employees, along with participants'
spending at the university and in area retail venues.
A total of 26 jobs exist through the center, including
19 'indirect' jobs created as a result of the spending of both the
participants of the center and the seven FTE positions.
The economic impact of the center is not measured
as one value. Rather, it is represented as the value of several
components independent of each other. The total income generated
from these positions was $552,207. The total retail sales generated
was $1,073,925 and the total tax revenue generated was $131,051,
including $40,000 locally.
Dr. Frances Karnes, director of the center, said the
popularity of programs continues, with more offerings annually for
participants. "Each year our programs continue to grow in cultural
offerings, recreational activities and academic endeavors,"
Southern Miss Research Foundation President Dr. Angeline
Dvorak praised the contributions of the Karnes Center to both the
education of gifted youth and to the area economy.
"Our commitment to gifted education as a nation
is critical to our competitive advantage in a global economy, and
the local economic impact of the center, as found in this study,
demonstrates its role as a catalyst in our own community,"