NCC Part of Over 5.5 Billion Contribution to Iowa’s Economy

The Iowa Department of Education recently released an Economic Impact report about Iowa’s Community Colleges, including Northwest Iowa Community College, by Emsi Burning Glass. The report shows a $5.5 billion impact to Iowa’s economy, including the support of 87,149 jobs to Iowans during the last year.

Iowa’s Community Colleges provide lasting impact to students, taxpayers, and society. The report includes an investment analysis for each of those groups:

  • Students see a return of $6.30 in higher future earnings for every dollar they invest in their education and have an average annual rate of return of 24.9%.
  • For every dollar of public money invested in the Community Colleges, taxpayers receive $2.50 and an average annual rate of return of 6.2%.
  • Society benefits from $277.9 million of public and private sector savings, receiving $8.60 in return for every dollar spent for as long as students remain active in the state workforce.

Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges and their students support one out of every 23 jobs in the state. Disaggregated, construction spending supports 352 jobs, student spending supports 3,936 jobs, and alumni working in Iowa supports 71,230 jobs.

Dr. John Hartog, NCC President, said, “Emsi has provided the taxpayers of Iowa with some useful data by which everyone can gain a better understanding of the positive economic impact that Iowa’s community colleges make within our State. Community college alumni, operational spending, and student expenditures together result in a 5.5 billion dollar stimulus effect for Iowans. Clearly, taxpayers receive a positive return on their investments in their community colleges. Also, businesses and industries receive skilled workers who populate vibrant communities. The community colleges are doing good work, making the most of taxpayer investments. This is why Iowans smartly look to their community colleges for many of their educational needs and workforce solutions.”

Iowa’s Community Colleges also contribute to overall higher individual earnings. During FY 2019-20, students invested $626.2 million to attend Iowa’s Community Colleges and in return, students earn a yearly income $7,900 higher than someone with only a high school diploma.

This report created by Emsi Burning Glass used data from FY 2019-20 reports from Iowa’s Community Colleges, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, Emsi Burning Glass’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and various studies and surveys.