A new Economic Impact Study (EIS) conducted by EMSI for Seattle Community Colleges reveals they generate $1.1 billion to the King County economy. The majority of that impact comes from added regional income over the last 30 years in the form of higher earnings of students and increased output from businesses.
The $1.1 billion impact for the District — which consists of North Seattle CC, South Seattle CC, Seattle Central CC, and Seattle Vocational Institute — represents 0.7% of the total King County economy.
More details can be found in this blog post from District Chancellor Jill Wakefield:
The report was produced by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI), and measures earnings of our graduates, spending for our college operations, and spending by our 51,000 students. According to the report –
• The higher earning power of students and increased business output of the companies which employ them is estimated at $937 million a year.
• We generate $107 million a year in new income for King County from our college operations, including facilities and equipment, and spending by faculty and staff.
The study found that local taxpayers see a 7% rate of return on their investment in the Seattle Community Colleges, that our colleges add more money to the state treasury than we receive from the state, and “effectively subsidize other sectors that are funded by taxpayers.” In fact, the report concluded that without our colleges, “taxes would actually have to be raised to maintain services in all other sectors at their current levels.” This is important news in light of current budget reductions that threaten agencies and services across the spectrum— including ours.
Throughout the economic recession we have reinforced our role in the economic recovery, as we trained thousands of dislocated workers so they could re-enter the workforce. It is rewarding to know that we are not only helping these workers and their families during a crisis, but also creating a long-lasting and far-reaching economic and social impact.