Economic impact report finds nearly 100,000 jobs supported, $1.1 billion added in tax revenue
BOAZ – Students and alumni of colleges within the Alabama Community College System add $6.6 billion to Alabama’s economy, supporting one out of every 27 jobs in the state, according to an economic impact report released Monday.
The independent, 102-page report by Lightcast estimates the Alabama Community College System directly impacts 98,923 jobs in the state, representing about 2.7% of Alabama’s gross state product. Additionally, taxpayers see a net benefit of $1.1 billion in added tax revenue from students’ higher lifetime earnings and increased output to businesses.
“The results of the analysis demonstrate that the ACCS is a strong investment for all three major stakeholder groups—students, taxpayers, and society,” according to the report. “…Students receive a great return for their investments in an education from the ACCS. At the same time, taxpayers’ investment in the ACCS returns more to government budgets than it costs and creates a wide range of social benefits throughout Alabama.”
Alabama’s community college alumni who are currently employed in Alabama’s workforce added $5.7 billion in income during the analysis year. A total of 95 percent of Alabama community college students remain in the state to live and work.
“Our legacy centers on helping people develop the skills they need to help build the framework of our state’s economy, and the data this report provides proves we are on a forward path of excellence in that pursuit,” said Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.
“Residents are receiving a strong return on investment when they invest in training at one of our colleges – whether through an adult education program, rapid skills training program, rigorous certification or academic transfer program that allows them to move toward completing a bachelor’s degree. And, they’re using that training to make a difference right here in Alabama.”
During the analysis year of 2020-2021, Snead State contributes an annual added income of $30.8 million to the local economy and supports 605 jobs. SSCC alumni who are employed in Alabama’s workforce added $13.6 million in income, an economic boost that is two times the impact of hosting the World Series.
The average associate degree graduate from Snead State will see an increase in earnings of $9,100 annually compared to someone with only a high school diploma working in Alabama. For every $1 students invest in an education from SSCC, they gain $6.60 in lifetime earnings.
“Since the College was founded in 1898, it has played a key role in helping students realize their individual potential while increasing their employability. The dedication of our faculty and staff influences the lives of our students, which in turn reflects in their quality of life and the economic health of our community,” said Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore.
Among the report’s additional highlights:
- The impact of the Alabama Community College System, which celebrates 60 years as a system this year and represents 24 community and technical colleges across Alabama, supported 98,923 jobs in FY2021. For perspective, the activities of the colleges and their students support one out of every 27 jobs in Alabama.
- Taxpayers, who provided the Alabama Community College System with $869.8 million of funding in FY2020-21, will receive an added tax revenue benefit of $1.1 billion. Additionally, reduced demand for government-funded services in Alabama will add another $82.2 million in benefits to taxpayers.
- The ACCS generates $7.40 for every dollar invested in ACCS, for as long as the colleges’ FY2020-21 students remain active in the state workforce.
- The average Alabama community college graduate earns $7,900 more each year than a resident who does not obtain more than a high school diploma.
- The average annual return for Alabama community college students is 22.1%.
- The colleges’ operations spending was $535.8 million in added income to the state economy.
- The colleges’ construction spending was $13.3 million in added income for Alabama.
- The jobs retained or created and additional investments by businesses supported by the Alabama Technology Network, an entity of the ACCS, created $206.5 million in added income.
- As a result of the $1.8 billion invested by Alabama to support the ACCS, the economy will grow by $12.8 billion over the course of students’ working lives.
- Total benefits from Snead State to society throughout the State total $408.7 million, including $274.5 million in added student income, $12.1 million in added income from college activities, $113.3 million in added business income, and $8.8 million in social savings.
Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics for colleges and universities, analyzed data using FY2020-21 academic and financial reports from Alabama’s community and technical colleges, as well industry and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau.
The full report can be found at www.accs.edu/impact.