Study shows PCC demonstrates significant economic impact and investment returns

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PCC graduates make a big impact on the region’s economy.

Portland Community College continues to showcase its vital role in the community by generating substantial economic value and delivering excellent investment returns for its stakeholders. The college’s contributions extend beyond education, fostering economic growth and improving the overall quality of life in the PCC Primary Economic Impact Region.

According to an economic impact study by Lightcast, a provider of labor market data, PCC plays a crucial role in shaping students’ futures, providing them with education, training, and essential skills for successful and fulfilling careers. Additionally, the college serves as a catalyst for economic growth by attracting students from outside the region, creating new opportunities for regional businesses and vendors.

“This study by Lightcast reaffirms the critical importance of PCC and the far-ranging impacts the college has on not only the local economy but the state and the region as whole,” said PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings. “Every day the college empowers students for success, drives economic growth, and enriches communities through education, innovation, and holistic well-being.”

A recent economic impact analysis, based on data from fiscal year 2021-22, highlights the following key findings:impact study snapshot

Operations Spending Impact: PCC’s day-to-day operations spending added $293.2 million in income to the region, supporting 3,026 jobs. The college’s payroll and spending on goods and services further boosted the regional economy.

Construction Spending Impact: PCC’s construction spending contributed $22.2 million in added income, equivalent to supporting 233 jobs. The college’s investments in infrastructure have a significant positive impact on the region’s economy.

Student Spending Impact: Students attending PCC spent $78.7 million on various expenses, supporting 1,152 jobs in the region. The college attracts both in-region students and those from outside, further benefiting the local economy.

Alumni Impact: The college’s former students, now part of the regional workforce, generated an impressive $1.9 billion in added income, supporting 20,904 jobs.

Total Impact: Collectively, PCC’s contributions added a remarkable $2.3 billion in income to the PCC Primary Economic Impact Region, supporting 25,314 jobs. This amount is equivalent to approximately 1.4% of the region’s total gross regional product.

The study also evaluated the college as an investment from the perspectives of students, taxpayers, and society. Notably, the students’ benefit-cost ratio was 5.1, meaning for every dollar invested in PCC, students could expect a cumulative value of $5.10 in higher future earnings.

From a taxpayer’s perspective, the investment analysis revealed significant benefits, with a benefit-cost ratio of 1.6. For every dollar of public money invested in PCC, taxpayers will receive a cumulative present value of $1.60 over the students’ working lives.

Society as a whole in Oregon benefits immensely from PCC’s presence, enjoying a benefit-cost ratio of 8.0, meaning for every dollar invested in PCC, society will receive a cumulative value of $8.00 in benefits.

Overall, this study demonstrates the multifaceted value created by PCC. The college empowers students, supports regional businesses, and enriches the community, fostering economic growth and contributing to a more prosperous and vibrant Oregon.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »