South Carolina HBCU presidents, in collaboration with UNCF and the White House Initiative on HBCUs, hope to change the narrative on the impact of HBCus

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South Carolina HBCU presidents convened on the local, regional and global impact historically black colleges and universities make on the economy

SC HBCU presidents

South Carolina HBCU presidents, in collaboration with UNCF and the White House Initiative on HBCUs, hope to change the narrative on the impact of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as discussed at the South Carolina HBCU Economic Impact Conference held on March 19 at Benedict College. Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, a trustee at Benedict college, joined eight South Carolina HBCU presidents in examining the recently released landmark study commissioned by UNCF, “HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” The study analyzes the power of HBCUs in being economic engines in their communities and beyond. In South Carolina in particular, HBCUs generate a total economic impact of $463 million, 4,985 jobs and lifetime earnings of $5.2 billion.

The conference included presentations by Jonathan M. Holifield, executive director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs; Cynthia Bennett, vice president of education for the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce; Jay Wolf, budget and policy adviser for South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster; and Mr. Edward Smith-Lewis, UNCF director of the Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). Benedict College, Claflin University and Voorhees College are currently working together to improve job outcomes as participants in the CPI program, which was created with a $6 million grant funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

“Hear, hear for South Carolina leadership,” Holifield says. “This is the first convening of this kind to align around the state and region’s [economic] competitiveness thrust. You in South Carolina are pursuing an exciting agenda. HBCUs can help and make great contributions to the economy and bring more South Carolinians into the best opportunities the state has to offer.”

The study’s key findings for participating conference HBCUs (based on 2014 data)

Allen University
Allen University generates $22 million in total economic impact for its local and regional economies. This estimate includes direct spending by Allen University on faculty, employees, academic programs and operations—and by students attending the institution, as well as the follow-on effects of that spending.

“We’ve always known that HBCUs mattered. Roughly 70% of the human brain is used in processing what we see, and UNCF has produced a document for people to see the impact,” said Dr. Ernest McNealey. “It provides the first step for those who have not traditionally valued us and starts the process of seeing these institutions differently.”

Benedict College
Benedict College is a valuable economic engine in its community, generating substantial economic returns year after year, contributing $130 million and 1,218 jobs in total economic impact. A Benedict graduate working full time throughout his or her working life can expect to earn $1.1 million in additional income because of their Benedict College degree.

“I am pleased to join my South Carolina HBCU colleagues in collaborating with the UNCF and the White House Initiative on HBCUs in an intentional effort to articulate, enhance and amplify the criticality, capacity and competitiveness of HBCUs in the state and across the country,” said Dr. Rosslyn Artis, president, Benedict College. “Today marks a transformative first step in the evolution of our HBCUs as we partner with public and private industry to develop a comprehensive strategy to enhance our ability to educate the next generation of professionals and researchers in this country and across the globe.”

Claflin University
Claflin University plays a major role in the economic success of its graduates by enhancing their education, training and leadership skills. Generating $79 million in total economic impact and 835 jobs for its local and regional economies, a college degree opens the door to economic prosperity through greater employment and earnings potential.

“HBCUs like Claflin University are vibrant institutions that play a critical role in the economic development of our respective communities,” said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president, Claflin University. “I applaud UNCF for its extensive research, which attempts to quantify the contributions of HBCUs, not only in knowledge creation and research, but in workforce development, increasing employment opportunities and providing substantial revenue to the region. We also believe that UNCF’s Career Pathway Initiative (CPI) is a game-changer for our institutions. The goals of the grant are consistent with our mission of preparing graduates for the 21st century workforce. The future prosperity of South Carolina will require that institutions of higher education collaborate, and that institutions of higher education and members of the business community collaborate.”

Clinton College
Every dollar spent by Clinton College and its students produces positive economic benefits, generating $8 million in total economic impact and 107 jobs for the local and regional economies. Every dollar spent by Clinton College and its students produces positive economic benefits, generating $1.67 in initial and subsequent spending for its local and regional economies. Communities and regions hoping to foster a more robust and diversified economic climate find HBCU-connected spending a critical component of that effort.

“The (South Carolina HBCU Economic Impact and Competitiveness) conference was a shining example of the collective power of HBCUs,” said Dr. Lester McCorn, president, Clinton College. “The combined talent, intellect, wisdom, innovation and influence represented in the room reflects the time-tested tradition of “lifting as we climb,” in our pursuit of ethical responsibility, educational excellence and meaningful employment for all of our people. Clinton College has been inspired to diligently seek more ways to collaborate with our sister institutions to further our shared vision. Our goal is to improve prospects for our students’ careers and, thus, significantly improve the viability of our respective communities, as well as South Carolina’s competitiveness in the global society.”

Denmark Technical College
Ninety-five percent of our students are South Carolina residents and choose to live and work in this state after completing their education and training. Generating $32 million in total economic impact for its local and regional economies in rural South Carolina, the vast majority of our graduates are placed in a job related to their field of study or are continuing their studies and furthering their education.

“The economic benefits of HBCUs extend far beyond the students they educate. South Carolina's HBCUs have an immense impact on South Carolina's economy and strongly influences our state's future regarding access and equity,” said Dr. Christopher J. Hall, interim president, Denmark Technical College. “If South Carolina is to succeed as a global competitor, these institutions must be encouraged and supported.”

Morris College
Morris College generates $29 million in total economic impact for its local and regional communities. Morris College also generates 6,389 jobs for its local and regional economies. Of this total, 221 are on-campus jobs and 168 are off-campus jobs. For each job created on campus, approximately one job is created off campus in the private or public sector because of college related spending. With every million dollars annually spent by Morris College and its students, 15 jobs are created for the local and regional economy.

“Morris College is located in Sumter, South Carolina, an area thriving in business and industry as explained by the Sumter Economic Development, sumteredge.com website. HBCUs like Morris College consistently produce competitive members of the workforce. As the UNCF Economic Impact report shows, Morris College is positively impacting the job market in Sumter, South Carolina. Morris College students, faculty and staff are integral parts of the economic fabric in Sumter, South Carolina,” said Dr. Leroy Staggers, president, Morris College.

South Carolina State University
South Carolina State University is the leading contributor to the jobs in the Orangeburg Community, generating $145 million and 1,546 jobs in total economic impact and producing world-class graduates that assist with innovation and business development for Orangeburg and the surrounding region.

“SC State, a producer of leaders, (the most African American generals of any university ROTC program) and the university with the only undergraduate nuclear engineering program, is moving to the next level of excellence through its “Transformation Through Collaboration Initiative,” said president James E. Clark. “As we partner with other academic institutions, along with business entities and the communities we serve, we anticipate that our significant to-date impact will see a tremendous growth.”

Voorhees College
Communities and regions hoping to foster a more robust and diversified economic climate find HBCU-connected spending a critical component of that effort. Every dollar spent by Voorhees College and its students produces positive economic benefits, generating $17 million in total economic impact and 287 jobs.

“Voorhees College is located in rural Denmark, South Carolina in Bamberg County and is situated in one of the nation’s promise zones, classifying the community as among the most underserved and economically distressed in the country with 35 percent of our citizens living below the poverty line,” said W. Franklin Evans, president, Voorhees College. “As the HBCU Economic Impact Report confirms, Voorhees College is vital to the very existence of our town and serves as a valuable economic engine for our community, generating substantial economic returns year after year.”

To view the entire HBCU Economic Impact report, visit: uncf.org/HBCUsMakeAmericaStrong.

To learn more about South Carolina HBCUs, please visit:
http://www.allenuniversity.edu/
http://www.benedict.edu/
http://claflin.edu/
https://clintoncollege.edu/
http://www.dtu.dk/english
http://www.morris.edu/
https://www.scsu.edu/
https://www.voorhees.edu/

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About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37-member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

About Benedict College
Founded in 1870, Benedict College is a private, co-educational liberal arts institution and home to over 2,100 students in its 32 baccalaureate degree programs. The College, affiliated with the Baptist Church, is located on 220 acres nestled in the heart of Columbia, SC. Over the last six years, Benedict College has been ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly for creating social mobility, producing cutting-edge scholarship and research. Benedict has high-quality programs of teaching, research, and public service. Benedict recently received the National Civic Engagement Award from The Washington Center for encouraging students to give back to the community. Benedict has over 17,000 proud alumni throughout the nation. The College has been “a power for good” in the community for over 148 years and is a major economic contributor to the region and South Carolina, with a local annual economic impact of over $130 million.

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Cynetra K McMillian
UNCF
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