Home » Study shows KCTCS has $2.3 billion impact on state’s economy

Study shows KCTCS has $2.3 billion impact on state’s economy


VERSAILLES, Ky. (March 5, 2018) – For most people, a $5.80 return on every dollar invested is considered a good return. That’s the average amount students attending the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical System (KCTCS) receive, according to a new study by Emsi. Additionally, the study shows taxpayers receive a $3.40 return on investment (ROI) and society benefits $8.50 in added state revenue and social services savings for every dollar invested in KCTCS.

The study also shows the system, its students and alumni add $2.3 billion to Kentucky’s economy each year. This is equal to approximately 1.2 percent of the gross state product of Kentucky. By comparison, this contribution is slightly larger than the entire utilities industry in the state.

Overall, the $2.3 billion impact is equivalent to 37,389 jobs, which means one out of every 67 jobs in Kentucky is supported by the activities of KCTCS colleges and their students. The top three business segments affected are manufacturing, health care and construction.

KCTCS payroll and day-to-day spending add $370.1 million to Kentucky’s economy each year, enough to buy 11,028 new cars.

The study was conducted in the fall of 2017 and results of the analysis reflect fiscal year 2015-16. The study demonstrates that KCTCS colleges create value from multiple perspectives. The colleges benefit local businesses and the state’s economy by:

  • increasing consumer spending in the state and supplying a steady flow of qualified, educated people into the workforce
  • enriching the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential
  • benefitting state taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services
  • benefitting society as a whole in Kentucky by creating a more prosperous economy
  • generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.

Data and assumptions used in the study are based on several sources, including the fiscal year 2015-16 academic and financial reports from KCTCS and the individual col­leges, industry and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Multi-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior. The study applies a conservative methodology and follows standard practice using only the most recognized indicators of investment effectiveness and economic impact. For a full description of the data and approach used in the study, visit the KCTCS Better Lives for a Better Kentucky website for a copy of the main report.

Emsi, a CareerBuilder company, is a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners, and regional developers in the U.S. and internationally. Since 2000, Emsi has completed over 1,700 economic impact studies for educational institutions in four countries. Emsi has also conducted aggregate studies for 31 statewide community college systems. For more information visit www.economicmodeling.com.