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Economic impact of Washington community colleges: $11 billion in added state income

News via the State Board for Washington Community and Technical Colleges

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges and their former students add $11 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to a new study.

The community and technical colleges (CTCs) generate more than $100 million in added tax revenues annually, and for every state dollar invested in CTCs, $1.70 in tax revenues are returned to the state.

Washington CTCs served 469, 907 students in 2009-10 and the study found 91 percent of alumni stay in Washington to live, work, raise their families and give back to their communities. At the midpoint of their careers, CTC graduates earn an average $49,000 annually—35 percent more than those with just a high school diploma.

These are just some of the conclusions of a study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI), using an economic impact model that has been field tested in over 900 studies of colleges in the U. S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

“We’ve always known the significant impact our community and technical colleges have on their local communities and the state,” said Michele Johnson, chair of the 34-college-system presidents’ group and Pierce College District chancellor. “This study confirms how important community and technical colleges are to Washington’s economy.”

The education and training Washington CTCs provide encourages new business in the state, assists existing businesses to compete globally, and creates long-term economic growth. Each year thousands of former Washington CTC students will generate approximately $10.2 billion in labor income in the state’s economy each year, the study found.

In addition, every dollar of public spending on community and technical colleges yields an annual return of $18.70 in avoided social costs and added income for our state.

“Our community and technical colleges are in every community across the state, creating endless opportunities for those reaching for something more in their lives,” Johnson said. “Even in these difficult times, the state must invest in education—our students, our employers and the state’s successful economic future depend on it.”

Find out more

Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges