New study enumerates impact of UCC and its students, faculty & staff on regional economy
What would Douglas County be like without Umpqua Community College?
An economic study of the College's impact on the community concluded that UCC "plays a significant role in the local economy and is a sound investment from multiple perspectives."
- "Students benefit from improved lifestyles and increased earnings."
- "Taxpayers benefit from a larger economy and lower social costs."
- "The community as a whole benefits from increased job and investment opportunities, higher business revenues, greater availability of public funds and an eased tax burden."
"Douglas County was fortunate to have the conscientious and futuristic leaders back in the 1960s to secure the location of a community college in our community," said Neil Hummel, a prominent local Realtor and early UCC graduate.
"Their vision, commitment and investment in getting Umpqua Community College located here has paid big dividends over the years in providing workforce training, career training and transfer credits for thousands of students who would not otherwise have that opportunity," Hummel said. "I know because I was one of those students."
More than two-thirds of all Douglas County adults over 18 years of age participate in a class, event or activity at UCC every hear.
The study was conducted in August of this year by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI). It was previously called CCbenefits and, under that name, conducted a study for the College about the potential for growth of the wine industry in southern Oregon with the advent of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute at UCC.
"Altogether," the current study found, "the average annual added income due to the activities of UCC and its former students equals $196.5 million. This is approximately equal to 7.7% of the total Douglas County economy."
Two other figures stand out: $178.5 million is the net contribution to the region from the higher income of former students who are still active in the regional workforce; $18 million of direct income comes from faculty and staff paychecks and purchases of services and supplies that are made and multiplied in Douglas County.
Beyond the numbers are the impacts UCC and its graduates have in the healthcare field, to take just one example, in the hospitals, doctors' offices and dental clinics throughout the area, and in automotive technology, to take another, where UCC's Toyota T-Ten program trains mechanics at work in many dealerships across Oregon.
"Douglas County is a net importer of jobs in the health care field," said Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, a Roseburg pediatrician and CEO of The Physicians of Douglas County (DCIPA). "This economic study shows the impact of UCC in our community in terms of dollars and cents. And, it is considerable. But, beyond that, is the impact the College has on healthcare locally. The graduates of UCC in registered and practical nursing, dental assisting and hygiene and clinical medical assisting affect the health and quality of life of people throughout Douglas County."
"UCC has been a huge community resource for decades," said Roseburg car dealer Clint Newell. "There is a tremendous amount of education and knowledge within our community that wouldn't exist without UCC. Serving a major role, UCC makes Douglas County a better place to live."
The study is divided into four sections: the Student Perspective; the Business Perspective; the Social Perspective, and the Taxpayer Perspective. Among the findings are:
- The Student Perspective: By 2020, about 23% of the anticipated 15,000 new or replacement jobs available in Douglas County will require an education level of an associate's (2-year) degree or greater.
- The Business Perspective: In addition to $18.5 million in payroll, UCC spent $25.2 million in fiscal year 2009-10 for supplies and services. An estimated 36% was spent in Douglas County.
- The Social Perspective: Oregon will see avoided social costs amounting to $1.5 million per year due to UCC students, including savings associated with improved health, reduced crime and reduced welfare and unemployment.
- The Taxpayer Perspective: For every dollar appropriated by state and local government to UCC, taxpayers will see a return with cumulative added value of $2.10 in the form of higher tax revenues and avoided social costs.
"It is my belief," Hummel said, "that education is the catalyst for economic growth and UCC has consistently responded to the needs of our employers. In fact, the College recently added an additional 17 career classes for students to get the knowledge and skills they need to work in these new careers and stay in Douglas County. When the needs are there, UCC responds."