Matt Gotschall

Matt Gotschall

One of Central Community College’s top priorities is to be a responsible steward when using taxpayer and student tuition funds.

While some view CCC’s efforts a pure cost measure, our elected Board of Governors view it as a worthy investment. Here’s one reason why. In April 2018, we received results from an out-of-state economic development agency that analyzed CCC’s impact on the business community and the return on investment to students, taxpayers and society.

During the analysis year, CCC, its employees, current students and alumni added $510.6 million in income to the CCC service area economy, which is approximately 3.3 percent of the total gross regional product.

CCC’s payroll during FY 2015-16 was nearly $43 million and the college spent just over $49 million for operations including facilities, supplies, travel, professional services and equipment. Based on post-graduation and income studies conducted by CCC, it is known that the majority of current students and alumni are employed in rural, central Nebraska. Some of the industries these students and alumni are employed in include: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care, early childhood education, construction, and retail sales.

Additionally, some 11 percent of students attending CCC during the analysis year originated from outside of the 25-county CCC service area. The relocated and resident students spent money on groceries, transportation, rent and other expenses at area businesses. Graduate surveys have shown students from our local service area benefited from economical, yet high quality educational offerings that allowed them to continue to live, work, get promoted or seek advanced college degrees in central Nebraska.

Regarding the return on investment to students, taxpayers and society, the study found that for every dollar that students invest in their education, there is a return of $5.40 in higher future earnings over the students working life.

In FY 2015-16, state and local taxpayers in Nebraska paid $51.1 million to support the operations of CCC. The net present value of the added tax revenue stemming from the students’ higher lifetime earnings and the increased output of business amounts to $113 million in benefits to taxpayers. Savings to the public sector add another $7.5 million in benefits due to a reduced demand for government-funded services in Nebraska. Simply put, for every dollar in taxes invested in CCC, returned $2.40 in benefits, with the average annual return on investment for taxpayers at 5.6 percent.

The study predicts society will also benefit from $27. 1 million in present value social savings related to reduced crime, lower unemployment and increased health and well-being across the state. In summary, for every dollar that society spent on CCC FY 2015-16 education, society will receive a cumulative value of $11.20 in benefits for as long as the FY 2015-16 student population at CCC remains active in the state workforce.

In summary, yes, CCC utilizes taxpayer dollars and we strive to use them in a most responsible way. We take our mission of maximizing student and community success seriously and provide opportunities for education and quality of life experiences to individuals from elementary school to post-retirement. We are proud of what taxpayers have invested into the College through high quality facilities and programming in Kearney, Grand Island, Hastings, Columbus, Ord, Lexington and Holdrege, in addition to multiple community sites we use to provide training and classes. We will continue to provide transparency and we appreciate the opportunity to serve the residents in CCC’s 25-county service area, both now and in the future. Please feel free to contact me at mgotschall@cccneb.edu to share your CCC experiences and input on how CCC can better serve your needs.

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Dr. Matt Gotschall is president of Central Community College.

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