VSU helps Moultrie organization plan for a brighter, more prosperous future
VALDOSTA – When the Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority needed an economic impact analysis to quantify its value to the region it serves, Valdosta State University stepped in to help.
The organization now has the information it needs to promote the economic and community development of its rural community.
Greg Icard, executive director of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority, said he had heard about the services offered by VSU’s South Georgia Regional Impact Center – and VSU’s commitment to help stimulate community and economic development and shape the future of South Georgia. .
Icard reached out to Darrell Moore, executive director of VSU’s Center for South Georgia Regional Impact.
Moore introduced Icard to Dr. Matthew Kolakowski, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Care Administration and Management at VSU Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration.
“The economic impact analysis was specifically related to our baseball and softball tournaments, as well as our diving and swimming competitions,” said Icard. “These four areas of effort bring thousands of families to our community each year, and it was important that we assess their impact on our community, which is a direct result of our efforts as an organization.”
“The economic impact analysis allows our organization to seriously examine what we do each year and how it benefits the citizens of our county,” he added.
Kolakowski said the scan took him around 60 hours, spread over three weeks, to complete.
“I usually use a three-step approach to do an economic impact analysis,” he explained. “The first step is to collect historical data on hotel prices, food prices and the average number of attendees at the event.
“The second step is to aggregate the data to obtain reasonable impact analysis points.
“The third step is to combine the data points with a written analysis specific to the events – baseball, softball, diving and swimming in this case – and how these events generate economic activity, i.e. money. pouring into the community. ”
The Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority plans to use the results of the analysis when making future decisions about facilities, programs and other planned activities for its local community. Icard said the information will help “demonstrate our value to our citizens and elected officials” and provide important information for better decision-making regarding the economic future of the community.
“Our experience working with VSU has been fantastic,” he continued. “All parties involved were extremely courteous, responsive and knowledgeable. There was a desire to help and a will to get good data so that we could receive reliable and accurate information on time.
Kolakowski said the most enjoyable part of conducting this Economic Impact Analysis for the Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority “is seeing the potential for growth and positive change for the region. If VSU can be an agent of change in the growth of economic activity in our 41-county service area, then we have made significant progress.
The Center for South Georgia Regional Impact was established in 2018 to support VSU’s unwavering commitment to be a catalyst for comprehensive regional progress and to serve as a resource for industry, healthcare, the arts, education, athletics and other changing economic needs that support the region’s growth. The center works with community leaders in the 41-county VSU service area to identify the issues they want to address, and then connects those community leaders with VSU faculty, staff, and students with the knowledge and skills to develop solutions and accelerate progress towards a better future. .
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