MCC logotype vectorArizona’s community colleges have a $14.5 billion impact on the state’s economy. And locally, Mohave Community College adds more than $212 million to the financial health of our region. So says a report released by the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council. The first-ever study of the economic value of Arizona’s community colleges shows the institutions as major, regional financial generators. “We knew Arizona’s community colleges had a major impact on our economy,” said Jack Lunsford, Arizona Community College Coordinating Council chief executive office, “but we were astounded to learn that our annual economic impact is on par with our state’s top industry sectors such as aerospace and defense at $15 billion and manufacturing at approximately $23 billion.” Economic Modeling Specialist, International (EMSI), the firm which conducted the studies, calculated that Mohave Community College added $212.4 million to the local economy in one year, largely generated by higher wages earned by MCC’s graduates. EMSI’s state report, Demonstrating the Value of Arizona’s Community Colleges, shows that Arizona’s community colleges contributed $14.5 billion to the state’s coffers. The state report reviewed 21 publically funded colleges within 10 college districts. EMSI based its results on Fiscal Year 2014 data. Demonstrating the Value of Mohave Community College details MCC’s fiscal contributions to the local business community from purchases of operational goods and services, payroll expenses to employees who shop locally, impact of new students moving into the county, and alumni spending.  “MCC not only provides education opportunities, but the college also provides the county with increased revenue due to graduates’ higher wages,” said MCC President Dr. Michael Kearns. “This report shows that for every dollar taxpayers invest in MCC, they receive a return of $1.80 from graduates’ economic contributions to paying taxes and to spending.” The overall spending that stems from MCC equals an estimated 5,851 jobs, according to the report, and comprises 5.6 percent of the area’s Gross Regional Product. The GRP is a measure of the value of goods and services produced within a region and within a certain time frame, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. EMSI estimated “the average associate’s degree completer from MCC” will earn an additional $7,500 annually compared to those with a high school diploma, and an additional $285,000 in income over a working lifetime. The analysis calculates that for every $1 that MCC students invest in their education, they will receive a cumulative return of $5 in future higher wages. “Mohave Community College (MCC) creates value in many ways,” the report states. “The college plays a key role in helping students increase their employ-ability and achieve their individual potential. It provides students with the skills they need to have a fulfilling and prosperous career. Further, it supplies an environment for students to meet new people, increase their self-confidence, and promote their overall health and well-being.” EMSI noted that of MCC’s 582 employees, 87 percent lived in the county and spent $20.5 million on rent, groceries, dining, retail, and other household expenses. Out-of-state students who attend MCC injected an additional $1.5 million in local revenue due to their spending. The report also showed that MCC spent $8.5 million in FY14 in its purchases of goods and services for operation. In addition to MCC’s strong economic impact, the college also improves the overall quality of life for the region, according to the report. The region receives a more highly skilled workforce which enhances business productivity, and, typically, healthier citizens with low crime rates and need for unemployment assistance. The Idaho-based independent EMSI examined financial and academic reports from MCC’s FY14 and combined the information with data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and other studies and surveys.