According to an economic impact analysis during a city commission meeting, Owensboro Community and Technical College is responsible for adding millions of dollars into the regional economy.
According to a fact sheet provided by OCTC, during the 2018-19 fiscal year, the college added $203 million in income to the regional economy that OCTC serves, which includes Daviess, Hancock, Ohio and McLean counties. That translates to about 2,719 jobs supported in the region.
Scott Williams, OCTC president, told the commission that when a similar analysis was done about three years ago, the college added about $176 million to the regional economy. “So, you can see that evidently we’re hopeful that we are meeting our mission in this community,” he said.
Major industries supported by OCTC included construction, health care, manufacturing and retail. According to Williams, about 21% of OCTC’s students come from outside its region and just three years ago, it was about 11%.
“We’re actually importing people into our region which helps us grow,” Williams said.
According to the fact sheet, the average associate degree graduate from OCTC will see an increase in earnings of $9,500 each year when compared to someone with a high school diploma working in Kentucky.
Students who spent money at OCTC were expected to get a significant return, Williams added. “For every dollar they spent on their education, they were going to get a return of $8.3 dollars.”
Williams said that “higher education is contributing not only to the well-being of our citizens, but it is actually an economic engine helping to propel this community.” Williams said the analysis shows that OCTC is more than just a college. The analysis uses numerous sources including OCTC’s FY 2018-19 academic and financial reports, provided by Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau. The study was conducted by Emsi, a labor market analytics firm.