Somerset Community College has strong economic impact on region

Somerset, KY A new study has revealed Somerset Community College’s (SCC) economic impact in the region. 

According to a recent Economic Analysis conducted by Lightcast, during the 2022-2023 fiscal year, SCC added $166.8 million in income to the SCC Service Area Economy for the fiscal year. This is an excellent achievement for the community college and shows how it is positively impacting the economy of the Commonwealth.

The present coverage area of the SCC service consists of Adair, Casey, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Jackson, Laurel, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, and Whitley Counties. At the time of the study, Lincoln was a part of the Service Area.

SCC’s impact has had a positive effect on the state unemployment rate. It has supported 2,819 jobs in over 14 counties, which shows its important role in the region’s economy. It’s encouraging to see that its efforts have contributed to a drop in the unemployment rate from 4.2% to 4.0% over a year, according to data from the Workforce Overview Report for Kentucky Regions (WORK).

According to the study, one out of every 56 jobs in the service area is supported by SCC, their students, and activities.

This initiative in our region is addressing the increasing need for skilled and educated workers, ultimately boosting the Commonwealth’s workforce. This promising development speaks volumes about the state’s ongoing commitment to fostering a thriving economy and supporting individuals in their career pursuits.

It’s always essential to have access to affordable education and training opportunities, especially when building a solid and skilled workforce. Work Ready Kentucky scholarships, which provide free tuition within five high-demand sectors, are a great way to help Kentuckians gain the skills they need to succeed in their careers and boost the local economy.

The $166.8 million total impact from SCC came from the combination of $26.6 million in Operations Spending, $3.2 million in student spending and $137 million from SCC’s Alumni impact.

The impact of SCC alums was measured by the economic impact of the increased earnings of SCC graduates and the businesses they work for. The Lightcast study compared the $137.1 million economic boost from SCC Alumni to the impact of hosting the World Series 21 times or supporting 2,157 jobs in the area.

SCC Operations spending impact breaks down to include the impact of annual payroll and other spending for SCC to stay open. This added $26.6 million in income for the people in the SCC Service Area. The economic boost from SCC operations spending supported 639 jobs and created enough income to purchase 564 new cars.

Student spending is the impact of the daily spending of SCC students attracted to or retained in the region. The $3.2 million added income to the service area from student spending supported 23 jobs and created enough money to buy 255 families of four an entire year’s worth of groceries.

SCC is a part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College system, which added $3.9 billion in annual income to Kentucky’s economy during the same study across all KCTCS institutions. This figure equals 1.6% of the Commonwealth’s gross state product.

For every dollar invested in SCC, taxpayers gain $3.00 in added tax revenue and public sector savings, society gains $9.10 in added income and social savings and students gain $7.70 in lifetime earnings.

Due to SCC’s graduates entering the workforce, a reduction in the demand for government services in Kentucky will add 4 million in benefits to taxpayers.

Choosing SCC means supporting the people of the Commonwealth and creating stronger communities.

“The findings in this report underscore SCC’s commitment to accessible education and workforce development, driving economic growth, empowering individuals, and strengthening communities,” SCC President Dr. Carey Castle said. “It’s a testament to the transformative power of education in shaping a brighter future for Kentucky.”

Lightcast, a well-respected labor market analytics firm, conducted the comprehensive report. The report drew from a wide range of sources, including academic and financial reports from the college and pertinent industry and employment data from sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau.

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