Latest economic impact study: SCC creates value in many ways

Southeast Community College has a tremendous positive regional economic impact, according to a recent analysis conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. of Idaho.

EMSI, a CareerBuilder company, released its findings in December 2013. It used data from the 2012-2013 fiscal year as the basis for its report.

Among its findings:

  • During the analysis year, SCC and its students added $741.4 million in income to the SCC service area economy, approximately equal to 3.6 percent of the region's Gross Regional Product. That included an employee payroll of $62.4 million, much of which was spent in SCC's service area. The college spent another $48.2 million to support its day-to-day operations.
  • In FY 2012-2013, state and local taxpayers in Nebraska paid $50.7 million to support the operations of SCC. For every dollar of public money spent on SCC, taxpayers receive a cumulative return of $4.10 over the course of students' working lives in the form of higher tax receipts and public sector savings, and society will receive a cumulative value of $50.10 in benefits for every dollar spent for as long as SCC's 2012-2013 students remain active in the state workforce.
  • Taxpayers see an annual return of 12.3 percent on their investment in SCC. This return compares favorably with the 1.1 percent discount rate used by the federal government to appraise long-term investments.
  • SCC's 2012-2013 students will receive an average annual rate of return of 16.9 percent on their investment in the college. This rate of return continues throughout their working lives. Had students and their families taken the money they spent on education and invested it instead in a standard bank savings account, they would have received a rate of return of less than 1 percent.
  • On average, SCC's 2012-2013 students will receive a cumulative $3.50 in higher future income for every dollar they invested in their education.
  • Over the years, students have studied at SCC and entered and re-entered the workforce with newly-acquired skills. Today, thousands of former students are employed in SCC's 15-county service area. In FY 2012-2013, the effect of former SCC students on the regional economy amounted to $653.3 million in added income.
  • Job equivalents are a measure of the average-wage jobs that a given amount of income can potentially support. Based on the added income created by SCC, the effect of college operations equals 1,928 job equivalents, the effect of student spending equals 233 job equivalents, and the effect of student productivity equals 16,024 job equivalents. Overall, the added income created by SCC and its students supported 18,185 job equivalents.

Dr. Jack Huck, SCC president, said the study validates the College's value to the 15-county service area, the state of Nebraska and the entire region.

"The benefits SCC provides to the business community, students, society, and taxpayers are well-documented in the study," Huck said. "SCC is a solid investment for state and local taxpayers, increases the earning potential of students who earn an associate degree, and saves society millions of dollars as it relates to health, crime and unemployment."

Huck said the data conveys a positive message that is sometimes a challenge to communicate.

"We produce internal reports that provide us with valuable information, including how many of our graduates obtain jobs or continue their education," Huck said. "But this economic impact study really demonstrates the value of Southeast Community College."

For the past 13 years EMSI has produced economic impact studies for community colleges, universities and workforce investment boards. EMSI turns labor market data into useful information that helps organizations understand the connection between economies, people and work.

To view SCC's entire six-part report, go to http://bit.ly/1g1g3Um.

-30-

For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing
402-323-3401
sosterthun@southeast.edu