Study Shows SCC Has $115.8 Million Impact on Region's Economy

Mar 9, 2018

For most people, a $5.30 return on every dollar invested is considered a good return. That’s the average amount students attending Somerset Community College (SCC) receive, according to a new economic impact study by Emsi. Additionally, the study shows taxpayers receive a $3.90 return on investment (ROI) and society benefits $7.70 in added state revenue and social services savings for every dollar invested in SCC.

The study also shows SCC, its students and alumni add $115.8 million to the region’s economy each year. This is equal to approximately 1.3 percent of the gross regional product of Kentucky. By comparison, this impact from the college is nearly as large as the entire Utilities industry in the region.

Overall, the $115.8 million impact is equivalent to 2,469 jobs, which means one out of every 63 jobs in the SCC service area is supported by the activities of SCC and its students. The top three business segments affected are manufacturing, health care and construction.

“These numbers demonstrate the very real impact that our students, faculty and staff have on our region, leading to local businesses benefitting through increased spending in our service area. It means that our graduates enter the region’s workforce with the education, skills and training needed to enhance the economy and add immediate value to the agencies and businesses who hire them.” Dr. Jo Marshall, SCC president and CEO, said in a statement. "SCC is committed to the work we do, and very proud to be such a strong contributor to our region's economy."

SCC’s payroll and day-to-day spending adds $28.6 million to the economy in the SCC service area each year.

The study was conducted in the fall of 2017 and results of the analysis reflect fiscal year 2015-16. The study demonstrates that SCC creates value from multiple perspectives. The college benefits local businesses and the state’s economy by:

  • increasing consumer spending in the state and supplying a steady flow of qualified, educated people into the workforce;
  • enriching the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential;
  • benefitting state taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services;
  • benefitting society as a whole in Kentucky by creating a more prosperous economy; and
  • generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.

About the study

Data and assumptions used in the study are based on several sources, including the fiscal year 2015-16 academic and financial reports from KCTCS and the individual col­leges, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior. The study applies a conservative methodology and follows standard practice using only the most recognized indicators of investment effectiveness and economic impact. For a full description of the data and approach used in the study, visit the KCTCS Better Lives for a Better Kentucky website for a copy of the main report.

About Emsi

Emsi, a CareerBuilder company, 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 over 1,700 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries. Emsi has also conducted aggregate studies for 31 statewide community college systems. Visit for more information about Emsi’s products and services.