EAST Initiative Has $15.2 Million Economic Impact on Arkansas


EAST Initiative Has $15.2 Million Economic Impact on Arkansas
8/14/2013 4:25:30 PM

Study by UCA Center on Community and Economic Development (CCED) puts a dollar amount on EAST’s impact on state.

Contact Information 

Sarah E. Argue
Director of Development
East Initiative, Inc.

(501) 371-5016



EAST Initiative Has $15.2 Million Economic Impact on Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (March 1, 2011) – At the 2011 National EAST Conference opening ceremony, the EAST Initiative released a new study estimating the annual economic impact of EAST projects throughout the state at $15.2 million annually. The study, conducted by the University of Central Arkansas Center on Community and Economic Development (CCED) over a two-year period, included a beta report to test the survey methodology. Survey data includes the estimated number of projects taken to completion per individual program in a year, the value of each project, and the number of student service hours invested in completing the projects. 

The EAST Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which administers over 200 EAST programs throughout Arkansas and six other states. The programs feature student-driven service projects using state-of-the-art technology and a teamwork approach. Approximately 22,000 students in Arkansas are currently enrolled in EAST programs and over 120,000 students have participated since 1995.

The CCED study estimates that each EAST program completes an average of 12 projects per year, at an average value of $7,035 per project. EAST projects do not take the place of private sector work, but rather meet a need where no community resources are otherwise available. 

EAST projects are multifaceted learning experiences uniting service and technology to address community needs with twenty-first century tools.  In Dardanelle, Arkansas, senior EAST student Trey Ryan, now a freshman engineering student at Arkansas Tech University, used geographic information systems (GIS) technology to calculate the volume of Lake Dardanelle. He was then able to determine how much water would flow into the city of Dardanelle, where the water would go, and which parts of the city would be most affected if the dam broke. Ryan shared his results with the City, which has developed emergency preparedness plans to ensure the safety of its citizens. This is just one example out of hundreds that shows the monumental impact EAST students have on their communities. 

The twelfth annual EAST Conference, being held this week in Hot Springs, Arkansas, brings together over 2,000 students from 194 schools, to showcase and celebrate their work and service to their communities over the past year. Conference exhibits are open to the public on Wednesday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Entrance to the exposition hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center is free. 

For more information about the EAST Initiative contact Sarah E. Argue, Director of Development, at sarah@eastproject.org or (501) 371-5016.


To read the study, click here.


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