Report shows impact of Kentucky Community and Technical College System on state economy
A report from analytics company Lightcast says the Kentucky Community and Technical College System contributed $3.9 billion to the state economy last fiscal year.
That dollar amount is equal to 54,061 jobs supported statewide, or 1.6 percent of Kentucky’s gross state product.
“There's many other benefits that cannot be measured with dollars,” KCTCS President Ryan Quarles said. “But this economic impact study allows us to quantify the benefits we know that have always been there.”
Most of that money – $3.6 billion – comes from alumni earnings. Spending from construction, school operations and students was also considered.
Investment analysis also shows associate degree graduates from KCTCS make $9,900 more each year compared to high school graduates, or $6.50 for each dollar in lifetime earnings. Revenue from each taxpayer more than doubled.
Quarles says the report shows the role the colleges play to solve Kentucky’s problem of low workforce participation. The largest number of KCTCS alumni work in healthcare, with other large pools of graduates in construction, retail and government.
“We need to make sure that we answer the call of the common criticism of higher ed, about ‘Is it worth it? Is it worth going?’” Quarles said. “And our answer is, well, our programs speak for themselves.”
The full report is available online.