April is Community College Month, and it presents a great opportunity to showcase North Carolina’s Great 58
RALEIGH – The N.C. Community College System (NCCCS) announced today it will join the month-long national celebration of Community College Month. Community College Month is a time to recognize and spread awareness of the hard work and achievement happening every day on our community college campuses. North Carolina has more than 500,000 students enrolled at community colleges across the state, institutions that serve an incredibly diverse student population and put educational and career goals within reach.
“The Community College System is key to the recovery and growth of the state’s economy,” said Thomas Stith president of the NCCCS, “We are very pleased to participate in this national awareness month to showcase North Carolina’s crown jewel – the Community College System.”
A recent report delivered to the State Board revealed the NCCCS contributes about $19.3 billion to the state’s economy each year. Expressed in terms of jobs, the colleges’ impact supported 319,763 jobs. The study indicates that the state’s unified system of 58 community colleges generate nearly double the revenue from what they take in from taxpayers. For every one dollar the state invests, taxpayers get $1.90 back in added tax revenues and public sector savings. In addition, N.C. community college students enjoyed an average rate of return on their college investment of 22.3%.
Economic development through corporate partnerships is critical to sustaining a vibrant economy. North Carolina’s community colleges are known for their innovative programs for education, training and support leading to wage-earning jobs. The NCCCS is leveraging our corporate partnerships by strengthening programs like ApprenticeshipNC, BioNetwork, Customized Training and Small Business Center Network.
Our Customized Training Program is a key economic driver as our 58 community colleges work with companies relocating or expanding in North Carolina to deliver a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the market. Partnerships include Apple, Amazon, Boom Supersonic, Lilly, Red Hat, Toyota and VinFast.
In North Carolina, our colleges are making a comeback from the pandemic. Enrollment climbed nearly 2 percent across North Carolina’s community colleges in the fall of 2021. The growth was consistent, with 33 of 58 community colleges reporting increases. Enrollment boomed in basic skills education, advancing 40 percent. Short-term workforce education surged, jumping 22 percent.