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5 ways community colleges contribute to the economy

5 ways community colleges contribute to the economy

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Workforce development

Whether students are looking for programs in business, finance, energy, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, technical training or transportation, community colleges provide fast tracks when trying to enter the workforce. The programs are tailored to meet the needs of students interested in moving more quickly from the classroom and into a quality job earning competitive wages. Employers recognize that students graduating with degrees in these programs have had the best training and education and are prepared to hit the ground running.

Students stay close and pay taxes

Students who graduate with degrees or complete certificate programs at community colleges often go to work in the same state. Should they transfer to a four-year institution, it’s often within the same system of higher education. That means the cars, houses, groceries among other items they purchase generate sales and property taxes within the same state. Compared to what happens to students who graduate from four-year institutions, there is less “brain drain” leaving the state, which helps maintain a skilled, educated workforce and a vibrant local economy.

Responsive to immediate needs of business

While technology, trends and the economy change and fluctuate, so do the needs of businesses and industries. That may mean they need to retrain existing employees or go in search of new ones who possess the skills and education they seek. Community colleges often work closely with various businesses and industries and can custom-fit courses to target specific areas of knowledge vital to a company’s continued success. Many of the instructors will have had real-world experience in business and industry.

Ready for underemployed and unemployed

Employees sometimes want to change jobs or move up within an organization. If not, they can be victims of downsizing. A community college is there to help people retool their careers and prepare for new paths. All of this can be done at a pace that is critical toward reaching overall job satisfaction, achieving a desired earning potential and being able to pay the bills on-time. A changing economy can impact people’s professional lives multiple times during a career and a community college is a place they can access at their convenience as the need arises.

One word: Affordable

Students often finish at a community college with less education-related debt and more money to help keep the economy moving. Students and the communities, in which they reside, benefit from having an affordable higher education option. In response to the rising cost of post-secondary education, many colleges have come up with creative ways to help students save money and access college at little or no cost. With more people able to afford community college, there will be a strong educated population, which will have a positive outcome on local communities, as well as the entire state.

Salt Lake Community College

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