Image from Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District website.

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s economic impact in San Diego County totaled $1.1 billion in 2018-19, according to a report released Tuesday.

The study was conducted by Emsi, an Idaho-based labor market analytics firm which produces reports for colleges and universities nationwide.

Researchers analyzed data for fiscal year 2018-19 to determine the economic impact and the return on investment for dollars invested by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca district’s students in their education, by alumni who remain in San Diego County, and the impact of the district’s operational spending.

The district’s two colleges, Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, together serve more than 26,000 students.

The Emsi researchers found the district creates a significant impact on the region, supporting more than 14,200 jobs. The numbers reflect the district before COVID-19.

“This report confirms the tremendous economic impact our college district has on the San Diego County region and the substantial quality-of-life improvement Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges provide to students in particular,” Chancellor Lynn Neault said. “Taxpayers can be assured that their investment in the district reflects dollars well spent, with the business community, and society as a whole benefiting from this public expenditure.”

According to the report, for every dollar invested by taxpayers in the college district, $10.20 was gained in added income and public sector savings, including reduced welfare, and unemployment claims.

The analysis also determined the average associate degree graduate of Grossmont or Cuyamaca College will see annual earnings $9,900 higher than a person with a high school diploma. Over a working lifetime, the benefits of the associate degree over a high school diploma amount to $396,000 in higher earnings.

Other findings include:
— the economic impact of district spending for operations was $237.5 million, the equivalent of 3,689 jobs.
— the economic impact of student spending was $65.4 million, or 1,214 jobs.
— the economic impact of Grossmont and Cuyamaca College alumni was $810.2 million, or 9,128 jobs.
— for every dollar spent by students for their education at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges, they gained $6.90 in lifetime earnings.
— for every dollar of public money invested in the college district, taxpayers will receive $1.40 over the course of students’ working lives.

— City News Service

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