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Report Shows Pitt Community College Is a Benefit to Students, Taxpayers and Society

• PCC ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators released a report by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) this month detailing the positive economic impact the college has on the community and region.

The report, which came as part of a statewide study on the economic impact of higher education in North Carolina, concluded that PCC—the state’s seventh-largest community college—is a considerable benefit to the local business community and generates a positive return on investment for students, taxpayers and society, in general.

During the 2012-13 fiscal year, the report stated, PCC and the more than 23,000 curriculum and continuing education students it serves each year added nearly $231 million in income to the college’s service area economy, equal to approximately 3 percent of the region’s Gross Regional Product.

According to the report, PCC employed 937 people, either full- or part-time, during the 2012-13 fiscal year with a payroll of $38.8 million, much of which was spent in the college’s service area on groceries, clothing, and other household goods and services. The college spent another $32.8 million to support day-to-day operations, meaning the net impact of college payroll and expenses in the PCC service area during the analysis year was approximately $50.7 million in added regional income.

The report noted that for every dollar PCC students invest in their education, they will receive a return of at least $2.50 in higher future income. The average annual return on investment for PCC’s students/alumni is 12 percent.

For taxpayers, the average annual return on investment in PCC is even higher – 16.7 percent, according to the report, which concluded that for every dollar state and local taxpayers pay to support the operations of PCC, they receive $5.40 in benefits.

The report also concluded that for every dollar society spent on PCC educations during the analysis year, society as a whole in North Carolina will receive a cumulative value of $8.40 in benefits for as long as PCC’s 2012-13 students remain active in the state workforce.

Other highlights from the EMSI report are as follows:

• Over the years, students have studied at PCC and entered or re-entered the workforce with newly-acquired skills. Today, thousands of these former students are employed in the PCC service area.

• The accumulated contribution of PCC alumni currently employed in the regional workforce amounted to $178.6 million in added income during the analysis year.

• The net present value of the added tax revenue stemming from PCC students’ higher lifetime incomes and the increased output of businesses amounts to $161.6 million in benefits to taxpayers. Savings to the public sector add another $11.5 million in benefits, due to a reduced demand for government-funded services in North Carolina.

• Overall, the added income created by PCC and its students supported 3,877 job equivalents, which are a measure of the average-wage jobs that a given amount of income can potentially support.

EMSI, which examined the N.C. Community College and University of North Carolina systems as well as the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities, used a two-pronged approach to develop its report, which involves a regional economic impact analysis and an investment analysis.

From a statewide perspective, EMSI noted that higher education is a key economic driver in the state. The study found that business and industry rely on the state’s higher education institutions to produce skilled employees and foster innovation.

According to EMSI, 40 percent of current North Carolina wage earners have received education or training at a North Carolina community college within the last 10 years. The accumulated contribution of former N.C. Community College System students totaled $19.6 billion in added state income.


02/27/2015