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BCC's Local Economic Impact Totals $1 Billion a Year According to New Study

March 18, 2013 - Brevard Community College boosts the local and regional economies by $1.05 billion a year with graduates earning higher incomes and the College serving as a driver of economic growth, a new study finds.

The study was conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., and  commissioned by BCC’s President, Dr. Jim Richey, as part of a statewide study done by the firm on the economic impact of the Florida College System (FCS).

The statewide report found the FCS — which is comprised of 28 community and state colleges, including BCC — contributes $26.6 billion to the Florida economy annually.

“The study shows BCC is a powerhouse that plays a vital role in fueling the Brevard and Central Florida economies and confirms our value as a major asset in spurring economic growth,” said Richey.

“Those benefits will mount as we become Eastern Florida State College on July 1 and start offering 10 Bachelor Degree tracks, with two programs starting this August and eight more in August 2014.

“Those new degrees are targeted in fields with in-demand jobs. The more opportunities we offer our students, the more they and our community will prosper,” he said.

Alan Landman, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, cited the report in calling on business and community leaders to increase their support for the College through more partnerships and public and private investment.

“Everyone wins working with the College,” said Landman. “So create internship programs for our students, hire our graduates and serve on our business advisory and BCC Foundation boards. It all energizes the economy and makes a significant difference.”

Here are some of the key findings of the 80-page report that examined BCC’s economic impact in 2011-12.
• College operations add nearly $68.2 million a year through payroll and the purchases of goods and services, stimulating the economy and increasing profits for local businesses.
Said the report:
“Nearly all employees of BCC (95%) live in Brevard County. Faculty and staff earnings become part of the region’s overall income, while their spending for groceries, apparel and other household expenditures helps support local businesses.
“BCC is also a purchaser of supplies and services. Many of BCC’s vendors are located in Brevard County, creating a ripple effect that generates additional jobs and income throughout the economy.”

• BCC graduates contribute $991 million a year through their earnings, spending and using their education to contribute to the success of area business and industry.
 Said the report:
“Over time, the skills of former BCC students have accumulated, steadily increasing the training level and experience of the Brevard County workforce.
“As the skills embodied by former BCC graduates stockpile, a chain reaction occurs in which higher student incomes generate additional rounds of consumer spending, while new skills and training translate to increase business output and higher property income, causing still more purchases and regional multiplier effects.
“The sum of all these direct and indirect effects comprises the total impact of student productivity on regional income.”

• BCC graduates earn more money. Associate Degree graduates go on to earn an average $43,100 annually. Bachelor’s Degree graduates can expect to earn an average $61,800 annually.
Said the report:
“Students who move from a high school diploma to an associate’s degree may expect approximately $11,300 in higher annual income. The difference between a high school diploma and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree is even greater — up to $30,000 in higher income.”

• Taxpayers get a good return on their investment, with BCC employees and graduates paying taxes and their higher education levels reducing social ills.
Said the report:
“State government can take comfort in knowing that their expenditures of taxpayer funds create a wide range of positive social benefits and, perhaps more importantly, actually returns more to government budgets than it costs.
“…society benefits from cost savings associated with reduced welfare and unemployment, improved health and reduced crime.”

• Most BCC graduates remain in Brevard County — 75 percent stay, 20 percent move outside the county but stay in Florida, and the remaining 5 percent leave the state. Their skills help bring new industry to the area.
Said the report:
“The availability of quality education and training in Brevard County also attracts new industry to the region, thereby generating new businesses and expanding the availability of public investment funds.”

The report further enhances BCC’s reputation as one of the top community colleges in the state and nation.

Out of 1,200 community colleges in the United States, BCC ranks 19th in awarding A.A. degrees, and first among all community colleges in Florida in awarding A.A. degrees.

The College also has one of the highest graduation rates in the Florida College System, and the highest graduation rate among all community colleges in Central Florida.

Overall, the statewide Florida College System report proves the institutions are achieving a key goal for which they were designed — promoting economic development in Florida, officials said.

“At its core, the Florida College System is about providing access to high-quality education and job training that responds to community and state needs,” said Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna.

“The results from the economic impact study confirm something we already knew: The Florida College System is an important economic engine for the state.”

Hanna noted the FCS awarded 105,798 degrees and certificates in 2011-12, with an 88 percent job placement and continuing education rate for graduates.

Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., which did the BCC and statewide FCS reports, has been conducting economic impact studies for colleges, universities and economic development groups across the U.S. since 2000.

It previously conducted separate economic impact studies for four FCS institutions — Valencia College, Indian River State College, College of Central Florida and Broward College.

The firm is based in Moscow, Idaho, and is on the Web at

The full BCC report can be viewed at this link.

Brevard Community College currently offers more than 100 degrees and certificate programs and will become Eastern Florida State College on July 1.