Iowa Lakes Community College Part of Over $5.5 Billion Contribution To Iowa’s Economy

Iowa Lakes news

(Estherville, Iowa) The Iowa Department of Education released an economic impact report about Iowa’s Community Colleges, including Iowa Lakes Community College, by Emsi Burning Glass. The report shows a $5.5 billion impact to Iowa’s economy, including the support of 87,149 jobs to Iowans during the last year.

Iowa’s Community Colleges provide a lasting impact to students, taxpayers, and society. The report includes an investment analysis for each of those groups:

  • Students see a return of $6.30 in higher future earnings for every dollar they invest in their education and have an average annual rate of return of 24.9%.
  • For every dollar of public money invested in the Community Colleges, taxpayers receive $2.50 and an average annual rate of return of 6.2%.
  • Society benefits from $277.9 million of public and private sector savings, receiving $8.60 in return for every dollar spent for as long as students remain active in the state workforce.

Iowa’s 15 Community Colleges and their students support one out of 23 jobs in the state. Disaggregated construction spending supports 352 jobs, student spending supports 3,936 jobs, and alumni working in Iowa supports 71,230 jobs.

"The economic impact on our region is indeed something the Iowa Lakes leadership team is monitoring. While the statewide data is impressive, the impact of Iowa Lakes Community College on the local economy is also noteworthy,” said Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations. “Iowa Lakes supports one out of every 11 jobs in our five-county region through the activities of Iowa Lakes and its students, and the local impact expressed in terms of jobs supported equates to 4,508 jobs."

Iowa’s Community Colleges also contribute to overall higher individual earnings. For example, during FY 2019-20, students invested $626.2 million to attend Iowa’s Community Colleges, and in return, students earn yearly income $7,900 higher than someone with only a high school diploma.

This report created by Emsi Burning Glass used data from FY 2019-20 reports from Iowa’s Community Colleges, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, Emsi Burning Glass’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and various studies and surveys.