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Breland: The economic benefit of community colleges


Evergreen Valley College. Photo courtesy of San-Jose Evergreen Community College District. Community colleges have always been a sound financial investment, not only for the students who are able to obtain high-quality education and training at a fraction of the cost of most four-year universities, but also for the communities they serve.

A uniquely American idea, community colleges have been called “the Ellis Island of the middle class” for their ability to serve students from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds while being one of the nation’s key drivers of economic mobility.

Local economies benefit from community colleges in a number of ways, as colleges not only attract their own highly skilled and educated workforce, but also support local businesses through the procurement of millions of dollars in goods and services.

Locally, a recent economic impact analysis of San Jose-Evergreen Community College District—which operates Evergreen Valley College, San Jose City College, the Milpitas College Extension and the Community College Center for Economic Mobility—conducted last year by Emsi, an international labor market analytics firm, found that the district contributes nearly $900 million to the local economy each year.

The report concluded that not only does the school district contribute substantially to the local economy, but […]

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