Sign that says Mt. Hood Community College in front of MHCC campus

MHCC Adds $423.4 Million to Local Economy, Study Finds

September 08, 2023

A recent study conducted by Lightcast, a labor market analysis company, found that Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) added $423.4 million to the district economy in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

MHCC stands out as a major driver of economic growth by attracting students to the area. Beyond their studies, students' spending on things like housing, food, and transportation gives a boost to local businesses, helping them grow.

This impact is felt across different local industries. MHCC's dedication to training a skilled workforce is a big help to local businesses. This is seen in the support of 4,882 jobs in various fields like retail, healthcare, social services, and manufacturing.

Breaking Down the Numbers

The report reveals that in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, MHCC employed 642 faculty and staff members, with 63% residing within the MHCC District. These workers earned a combined total of $56.5 million, with a substantial portion staying within the community. Additionally, the college spent $24.9 million on operations, further boosting the local economy. The economic impact report highlights $65 million in added income contributed by MHCC's daily operations, supporting 723 jobs.

Student Spending

Both local and out-of-town students added $4.6 million in additional income. Their spending on things like food and housing helped local businesses and created 72 jobs.

MHCC Alumni Impact

The lasting impact of MHCC is shown through its graduates. Alumni who enter the local workforce contributed an extra $353.8 million in income during the 2021-2022 fiscal year. This income supported the creation of 4,088 jobs.

Overall District Impact

When added up, MHCC's efforts resulted in $423.4 million in additional income for the MHCC district economy during the study year. This is roughly 2.7% of the total economic output of the MHCC district.

Investment Returns for Students

The money students spent, totaling $56.8 million in FY 2021-22, will pay off in the future. Their projected earnings, expected to be $9,400 more per year than a high school graduate, create a benefit-cost ratio of 4.7.

Taxpayer Savings

MHCC's reach extends beyond students. Taxpayers stand to gain as well. An extra $101.4 million in added taxes, coupled with savings from reduced public sector services, shows that taxpayers get 1.6 times what they put in.

Societal Gains

The effects are felt across the state of Oregon. Added income from students' higher earnings and increased business output contribute to economic wellbeing. A substantial $956.1 million in societal benefits stems from improved quality of life, showcasing MHCC's impact.

Fostering Growth

MHCC plays a crucial role in driving economic growth, individual progress, and societal advancement. Clear numbers and solid financial impacts tell a story of empowerment, transformation, and positive, lasting change for both students and the local economy.

"These findings underscore our commitment to student success and community prosperity,” Dr. Lisa Skari, MHCC president, said, “The significant economic contribution accentuates our role in local growth, workforce development, and student empowerment. This study proves that we give Oregon back more money than what the state puts in, making MHCC a smart investment."

To learn more about the economic impact of all of Oregon’s community college’s, visit the Oregon Community College Association’s website.