Muskegon – A study released by Muskegon Community College (MCC) shows that the College generated over $261.6 million in economic impact regionally in the 2018-19 fiscal year. In addition, the study shows that MCC provides a strong return on investment and helps create a healthy economy for the entire state of Michigan.

Conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), the study examined the economic value that MCC contributed to Muskegon, Newaygo, and Ottawa counties in 2018-19 by considering the impact of its operations spending, the spending of its students, and the increased earnings that MCC students receive because of their experience at the college. Overall, MCC generated the following:

  • $29.1 million (451 jobs) from operations spending
  • $4.3 million (103 jobs) from student spending
  • $228.3 million (3,529 jobs) from alumni earnings

Combined, these figures show that Muskegon is responsible for $261.6 million in added income, which supports 4,083 jobs using the jobs-to-sales ratios specific to each industry in the region. The total dollar figure is equal to approximately 1.1% of the total gross regional product (GRP) of Muskegon, Newaygo and Ottawa counties. The college’s impact is more than twice as large regionally as the entire arts, entertainment and recreation industry. One out of every 67 jobs in the three-county area is supported by the activities of MCC and its students.

Some of the industries most impacted by MCC include: health care and social assistance (884 jobs), retail trade (775 jobs), real estate & rental and leasing (515 jobs, manufacturing (294 jobs) and government/non-education (172 jobs).

Student and Government Return on Investment

The EMSI study also looked at the return on investment for MCC students, state and local taxpayers. The study concluded MCC graduates will earn $6.10 in future income for every $1 they invest in their MCC education. Their investment in an MCC education has an average annual internal rate of return of 20.4%, which is impressive compared to the U.S. stock market’s 30-year average rate of return of 9.9%.

Meanwhile, for every dollar of public money invested in MCC, taxpayers will receive a cumulative value of $2.40. Over the course of the FY 2018-19 students’ working lives, the state and local government will have collected a present value of $53.1 million in added taxes.

Benefits to taxpayers also consist of savings generated by the improved lifestyles of MCC students and the corresponding reduction in government services.  These include better healthcare, less interaction with the criminal justice system, and the acquisition of skills that translate into a decrease in unemployment and welfare. Altogether, the present value of these benefits associated with an MCC education will generate an additional $5.3 million in savings to state and local taxpayers.

 Benefits to Michigan

 People in Michigan invested a present value total of $56.7 million in MCC in FY 2018-19. The figure includes all the college and student costs. For every dollar invested in MCC, people in Michigan will receive a cumulative value of $11.40 in benefits. Altogether, these benefits equal a present value of $647.4 million, which includes $628.7 million in added income through students’ increased lifetime earnings and increased business output and $18.8 million in social savings related to better health and a decrease in crime and income assistance in Michigan. The benefits of this investment will occur for as long as MCC’s FY 2018-19 students remain employed in the state workforce.

For more information, contact Eduardo Bedoya, director of institutional research and grants at MCC, at (231) 777-0332.

Click here to view a summary of the economic impact study.

EMSI is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners and regional developers in the U.S. and internationally. Since 2000, EMSI has completed more than 1,200 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries.


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