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  • PCC: Sound investment, significant impact

    Pueblo Community College Economic Impact

    PUEBLO– The results of a recent in-depth economic impact study are clear: Pueblo Community College provides significant value to its students and the communities it serves. 

    Leading research firm Emsi recently conducted the study on PCC and other schools in the Colorado Community College System. All figures are based on fiscal year 2015-16. Among the findings:

    • PCC and its students (current and alumni) added $192.6 million in income to the school’s service area economy (Pueblo, Canon City, Mancos and Durango).


    • That annual total is the equivalent of 3,828 jobs and is equal to 1.9 percent of the region’s gross regional product.


    • PCC’s payroll for 591 employees totaled $29.3 million, much of which was spent in PCC’s service area. In addition, PCC spent $22.4 million on day-to-day operations.


    • PCC spent $437,800 on construction projects, providing a boost to the bottom line of multiple local businesses. (Over the past eight years, PCC has spent more than $32 million on campus construction projects.)


    • For every dollar spent on their education, PCC students will earn four times that in future income – a return on investment of 14.8 percent. In comparison, the average 10-year return on the U.S. stock market is 7.2 percent.


    • For every dollar spent to support the operation of PCC, taxpayers receive $4.50 in added taxes and reduced demand for government-funded services.


    • About 78 percent of PCC students stay in Colorado after completing their education, contributing to the local and state economies.


    The Emsi study aligns with research conducted by the Education Advisory Board, which shows that community colleges are in the midst of a golden age. Two-year schools are viewed as a superb value and an important contributor to local economies. They have become the first choice for many students, both traditional and nontraditional.

    EAB’s results illustrate strong support for community colleges nationwide, particularly among Generation Z (ages 18-22):  

    • 85 percent of Gen Z strongly or somewhat believes that community colleges prepare people to be successful.


    • 71 percent of Gen Z strongly or somewhat agrees that community colleges always put their students first.


    Across generations:  

    • 83 percent strongly or somewhat agree that community colleges contribute to a strong American workforce.


    • 82 percent strongly or somewhat agree that community college is worth the cost.


    • 80 percent strongly or somewhat agree that community colleges prepare people to be successful.


    According to EAB, the number of low-income students enrolling in college right after high school is increasing. PCC, like many community colleges, is better positioned to serve students now and in the future because it already serves a higher proportion of at-risk populations such as low-income, first-generation and minority students. PCC is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, which means at least 25 percent of its students are Hispanic.

    PCC is highly responsive to industry needs, which is demonstrated through its institutional mission and goals. Workforce development and community prosperity are priorities. PCC is helping to close the state’s skills gap by providing quality programs in high-demand industries such as health care, advanced manufacturing and information technology. Some certificate programs can get students into entry-level jobs in one year or less.

    The number of degrees and certificates awarded by PCC has increased more than 20 percent in the past five years as the college continues to provide more skilled employees for the regional workforce. 

    For more information visit our Economic Impact webpage.

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    Founded in 1933, Pueblo Community College is a premier teaching institution focused on providing academic and service excellence to help its students acquire the 21st Century skills needed to better their lives. An educational and technological leader, PCC fosters economic development and utilizes strong partnerships in the communities it serves through its Pueblo, Fremont and Southwest campuses.