In July, nearly 3,800 emergency responders attended the annual Fire Training Schools, which provide a welcome boost each summer when the local economy would typically be slowed. But officials with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) say the fire schools are just one example of the economic impact the agency’s programs have on Bryan-College Station and the surrounding area.
In fiscal year 2014, the agency had an estimated $202 million annual economic impact on the local area. The economic analysis was based on a direct local impact of $81 million paid for food and lodging by more than 48,500 students attending local TEEX classes, purchases and contracts with local vendors, and salaries paid to local employees. A standard 2.5 multiplier was applied, reflecting the number of times a dollar is spent and re-spent as it passes through the local economy.
The direct local economic impact of students attending TEEX training courses that were longer than one day and required expenditures for lodging, food, gas and other items at local establishments was an estimated $16.3 million. This was based on 82,910 hotel nights multiplied by the GSA per diem rate for Bryan-College Station of $196.
TEEX operates major training facilities in Bryan at the Texas A&M Riverside Campus and in College Station at Brayton Fire Training Field and Disaster City®, among others. These facilities benefit local governments and employers, and also draw individuals from around the world to visit the Bryan-College Station area.
“The Fire Schools and other TEEX training programs throughout the year represent a significant impact on our local economy through hotel stays, meals in restaurants or through catering, retail sales, and attractions and entertainment venues,” said Shannon Overby, President and CEO of the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau. “These all impact our community, not only through hotel tax collection, but also general sales tax, which helps keep property taxes lower for our residents.”
“We are proud to partner with other members of The Texas A&M University System to contribute to the health and vitality of the local economy,” said TEEX Director Gary Sera. “We believe our agency has truly made a difference to our local communities during our long history of providing technical and workforce training. We’ve called the Bryan-College Station community home for nearly 100 years, and we’re proud of our heritage and the support we receive from the local communities. We believe we have played a significant role in making Bryan-College Station and the surrounding area a better place to live and work and enjoy life.”
Sera pointed out that TEEX generates the majority of its $84 million budget through tuition, contracts and grants, with only 10% coming from state appropriations.
“This is just a snapshot that by no means shows the full impact of TEEX’s regional economic activity,” said TEEX Deputy Director Al Davis. “Our world-class facilities and excellent training draw a great many students and visitors to our local area, and exposes them — often for the first time — to the many attractions and amenities of our vibrant community and its top-tier educational institutions.”
TEEX is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, homeland security and workforce training and exercises, technical assistance, and economic development. Last year, TEEX served more than 169,000 people from every U.S. state and territory and 79 countries worldwide. TEEX makes a difference by providing training, developing practical solutions, and saving lives.