The San Diego Community College District contributed about $3.7 billion in net spending to the local economy in the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to a report released Tuesday.
The total included around $446 million on operations, nearly $300 million on payroll and benefits for over 6,200 full-time and part-time employees, $107 million in spending by students and $29 million in construction costs, according to the report generated by Emsi, an Idaho-based economic modeling firm.
The total equaled 1.8 percent of San Diego County’s gross regional product during that time period, Emsi reported.
The researchers also found that the economic impact of former students employed in the local workforce amounted to $3.1 billion in added income to the regional economy.
The figure is derived from a projection that a student who earns an associate degree from the SDCCD can expect to earn on average $11,000 more annually than someone with just a high school diploma at the midpoint of their working career. Over a working lifetime, that increase in earnings amounts to approximately $407,000 in added income.
“The San Diego Community College District is the great equalizer of economic and social mobility,” said SDCCD Chancellor Constance Carroll.
“The district provides any student who is seeking a degree or certificate and any employee who is seeking advancement in the workplace an opportunity to reach their goals,” Carroll said. “This report also shows that the district is having a profound impact and playing a pivotal role in the economy.”
The study was based on budget reports from the SDCCD, industry and financial data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a variety of published material relating to education and social behavior, according to the district.
The district said Emsi recently changed its formula for determining the economic impacts of colleges and universities, resulting in more conservative results. Using the older formula, this most recent fiscal year’s numbers would have equaled the previous year’s reported economic impact of $5.5 billion.
–City News Service
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