Data Analysis reveals a $152.9 Million dollar boost to the area
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 3/11/2022
A study measuring the financial impact Iowa Central Community College has on their nine county service region shows an economic boost of nearly $153 Million dollars. The report, issued by the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, highlights the major areas that Iowa Central brings value to, including operations, student spending, alumni impact, and construction. “One of the ways we drive economic impact is through our direct and in-direct employment. Iowa Central supports 2,860 jobs in our area which means that one out of every twenty-seven jobs in our service region is supported by the college,” says Dr. Jesse Ulrich, President of Iowa Central Community College.
The report, which used data from Fiscal Year 2019-2020, says Iowa Central influences both the lives of its students and the regional economy, stating the college plays a key role in helping students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential. “Iowa Central is well equipped and prepared to provide students with the education, training and skills they need to be successful,” points out Dr. Ulrich. Following completion of their degree or certification, the study confirms that Iowa Central is a sound investment, noting that the average associate degree grad will see annual earnings that are $8,200 higher than a person with a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, that value adds up to more than $385,000. These outcomes support the purpose of the college according to Dr. Ulrich. “Our goal is to have students come to Iowa Central and complete their degrees and certifications in the shortest amount of time possible, with the least amount of student loan debt, so they can have a better life.”
Iowa Central students play a key role in adding to the local economy, directly adding $6.6 Million dollars throughout the region. About 22% of the students are from outside of the nine-county region and some of the students relocate to the area, adding to the growth of area and the amount of dollars spent on groceries, household goods, services and retail. The college’s alumni generated $116.5 Million in the area, as thousands of alums are employed in the nine-county area. “Iowa Central has a long history of being a driver of providing a skilled workforce in our area. As the workforce shortage continues, our efforts to draw students to our area and provide skilled employees to employers is critically important,” says Dr. Ulrich who is an Iowa Central alumnus.
Iowa Central directly employs 1,189 full-time and part-time faculty and staff, which results in a $31.9 Million payroll. The study shows those dollars are largely spent on groceries, mortgage and rent payments, dining out and other household expenses. Additionally, the college spent another $36.9 million on day-to-day expenses related to facilities, supplies and professional services. The net impact of Iowa Centrals operations spending impact is $27.5 million for the reporting period. An additional category the college impacts is construction. As the college adds new spaces to better serve students, the construction industry benefits. In FY 2019-2020, Iowa Central had a net impact of $2.3 million in added income for the Iowa Central region. “Iowa Central in invested in the growth of our college and meeting the needs of our students and workforce. This led to the successful completion of several projects including the Storm Lake Industrial Training Center, and the Greehey Family Student Success Center in Fort Dodge,” notes Dr. Ulrich.
From the taxpayer perspective, Iowa Central generates more in tax revenue than it takes. This is achieved by taxes that the state and local government collects from the added revenue created in the state. Additionally, as Iowa Central alumni earn more, they will make higher tax payments throughout their career. Another boost comes from the students employers. As the output and purchase of goods increases by the business, tax payments will increase. In FY 2019-2020, our state and local government collected added taxes totaling $36.4 million. Simply put, for every dollar of public money invested in Iowa Central, taxpayers will receive a cumulative value of $1.50 over the course of students’ working lives.
As Iowa Central continues to invest in the region by growing the skilled workforce which directly impacts the economy, the college says it is grateful for the support it receives from each community. Dr. Ulrich shares, “Our success is rooted in the dedication of our faculty and staff to student success and our supporting partners. We strive to be an employer of choice and stay highly committed to our mission and purpose.”
Iowa Central was the best academic and economic option for me.