Report examines economic impact of North Central Michigan College

Earlier this month, North Central Michigan College released a study assessing the economic impact of Petoskey College on a four-county region including Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Otsego counties.

Prepared by labor market analysis firm Emsi, the report – based on the college’s combined operating budget, construction spending, current student spending, and alumni impact – found a full economic effect on the region of $ 74.2 million per year (the study reflects the analysis of data for the year 2018-19).

For comparison, Emmet County’s operating budget for 2021 is approximately $ 23 million.

College president David Roland Finley said the report helps assess the college’s value to students, taxpayers and the community at large.

“We value North Central’s role as a regional partner,” said Finley. “The economic impact study is an important temperature control to ensure that the college not only fulfills its mission, but also makes a significant contribution to our economy and the quality of life that makes this region so attractive.”

Nikki Devitt, president of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce, said she was not surprised by the study’s results and has long viewed the college as a regional economic leader.

“Retaining and recruiting talent is of the utmost importance to the continued success and growth of our businesses in the region,” said Devitt. “North Central’s role is not only imperative, it is a key factor as we continue to build and maintain a thriving community.”

The study found that the economic contributions of North Central alumni and current students are significant. Former college students who stay local throughout their careers add more than $ 61.6 million in revenue to the regional economy of the four counties, which is equivalent to supporting 1,376 jobs. The report also revealed that currently enrolled NCMC students represent an additional income of $ 685,000.

David Emmel, president of the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance – which provides resources to communities and entrepreneurs to create and maintain jobs in Antrim, Charlevoix and Cheboygan counties – said his organization and North Central are partners solid.

“We collaborate on a number of things and I would say they are kind of a permanent partner of our organization,” said Emmel. “Michigan’s community college system has been the backbone of the transition to independence and self-reliance for many people.”

Emmel noted that there are more four-year universities in the Upper Peninsula than in all of the 21 northern counties of the Lower Peninsula.

“This (NCMC) is extremely important,” said Emmel. “You think – that if they got rid of all the programs they had except health care, and what McLaren or Munson or any of the health care providers go through every year because our economy is so heavily based on tourism, even to this day These organizations really have to increase their staff during the summer just to keep up with the increase in volume that we have.

“Skills development, training, nursing and all other medical and technical positions in the field are of critical importance to our quality of life.”

Emmel said his organization could not practice fundamental economic development without strong post-secondary institutions such as NCMC.

North Perk Coffee owner Chrissie Rellinger Smith said she regularly sees North Central students at her downtown Petoskey store, both as customers and employees.

“We often have college students studying at the store, and we always have a few working here as well, so we’re flexible with their schedules,” Smith said. “As a ‘traditional’ community-driven cafe, we want people to come for coffee, chat, work, study and more.

“This is what we see with our students.”

The data is the study revealed for every $ 1 invested in their education, NCMC students received a return of $ 4.10 in higher salaries. Plus, for the 42,000 college alumni employed in the region, the value of a North Central degree equates to an additional $ 7,900 each year, or $ 55.6 million in additional earnings over their working lives.

The study also indicated that for every tax dollar invested in the college, state and local taxpayers received $ 1.80 in return.

In addition, the study measured the effect of NCMC construction spending. The report quantified the impact of spending for the 2018-2019 construction projects at $ 139,000 in additional revenue for the region, which is roughly enough to support three jobs.

Finley noted that this number is considerably higher now due to the college’s “Building Tomorrow Together” project which began in May 2020, which includes a renovation and a $ 7.4 million addition to the main hall building. college class. The new Borra Learning Center will open next month, in time for the start of the fall 2021 semester.

The net impact of the renovation is more than $ 2.3 million in additional revenue for the region, according to data from Emsi.

Along with the renovation of the building, the college is aiming for an additional $ 2.5 million for technology and scholarships. The project is funded by a down payment from the State of Michigan and investments from donors.

“We are delighted that our legislators and donor partners recognize the value of North Central and choose to invest in the future of higher education in Northern Michigan,” said Finley. “This study shows that their investment is well placed.

Other key figures on the economic impact of the report are as follows:

• 1,376 jobs – or one in 49 jobs in Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Otsego counties – are supported by the activities of NCMC and its students

• The 74.2 million revenues of the regional economy have a value equal to about 1.5% of the total gross regional product.

• NCMC employs 311 full-time and part-time faculty and staff, 89 percent of whom live in the Four County area.

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