MCC ‘creates value from multiple perspectives,’ economic impact study finds

A new report spells out in in dollars and cents the positive impact Metropolitan Community College has on the Greater Kansas City economy, including the personal economies of students and graduates.

The study by Emsi analyzed “the economic value” of MCC by examining the College’s economic impact as well as the return on investment for students, taxpayers and society. Emsi (also known as Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., based in Idaho) last studied MCC’s economic impact four years ago.

Emsi staff collaborated with MCC’s Office of Institutional Research to produce the report, which uses data from the 2016-17 school year.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights. See below for an infographic created by Emsi.

Economic impact

+ In 2016-17, the College employed 3,096 full- and part-time faculty, staff and administrators, 87% of whom lived in the metropolitan area. Total payroll: $75.7 million.

+ That year, MCC spent about $50 million on goods and services — for facilities, professional services and supplies.

+ The report noted that thousands of former students are employed in the Greater Kansas City area. In 2015-16, those alumni generated $722.1 million in added income for the region. This figure represents their earnings, the increased output of businesses that employed the alumni, “and the multiplier effects that occurred as students and their employers spent money at other businesses.”

+ Overall, the economic impact of MCC that year amounted to $844.3 million — “approximately 1.2 percent of the GRP (gross regional product) of the KCMO metro area.” That amount is nearly as large as the entire utilities industry in the region, according to Emsi.

+ The $844.3 million impact supports 16,043 jobs. “For perspective, this means that one out of every 50 jobs (in Greater Kansas City) . . . is supported by the activities of MCCKC and its students.”

Investment analysis

Student perspective

+ The average MCC associate degree completer will see an increase in earnings of $9,400 each year compared to someone with just a high school diploma.

+ For every $1 students invest in an MCC education in the form of out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, they receive a cumulative $3.60 in higher future earnings.

Taxpayer perspective

+ For every $1 of public money invested in MCC, taxpayers receive a cumulative value of $4.10 over the course of students’ working lives.

+ “MCCKC generates more in tax revenue than it takes. These benefits to taxpayers consist primarily of taxes that the state and local government will collect from the added revenue created in the state. . . . By the end of the (fiscal year) 2016-17 students’ working careers, the state and local government will have collected a present value of $268.5 million in added taxes.”

Social perspective

+ Society benefits from the presence of MCC in two major ways: in increased economic prosperity and in improved lifestyles of students. The latter part, “social savings,” includes health, crime and unemployment savings.

+ For every $1 of society’s investment in MCC, society as a whole in the region receives a cumulative value of $10.90 in benefits.


From the report’s executive summary:

“The results of this study demonstrate that MCCKC creates value from multiple perspectives. The college benefits local businesses by increasing consumer spending in the region and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers into the workforce. It enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential. It benefits state and local taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services. Finally, it benefits society as a whole in Missouri by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.”