Study Shows BC Colleges & Institutes are Engines of Economic Growth



    VICTORIA, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - The B.C. economy creates $7.7 billion in
income each year due to BC colleges and their past students, an amount that
equals over four per cent of the provincial economy.
    A government-sponsored study conducted for BC colleges by CCbenefits Inc.
reported these findings today in the largest analysis of its kind in British
Columbia.
    The analysis of 13 colleges and institutes located in more than 50
campuses throughout BC concludes that BC colleges and institutes are engines
of economic growth for the province, returning 14 per cent on taxpayers'
investments in the colleges.
    "This study confirms the importance of BC colleges and institutes in
contributing to a skilled workforce and to the vitality of both the local and
provincial economies," said Jim Reed, President of the BC College Presidents.
    "The results show that rural colleges as well as urban colleges
contribute a significant financial return to governments, students and
communities," said Lou Dryden, Chair of the BC College Presidents and
president of North Island College in Campbell River.
    CCbenefits Inc. reports a benefit/cost ratio of 3.8, meaning that every
dollar of taxpayer money invested in BC colleges returns $3.80 to the
provincial and local governments.

    
    Other key findings of the study, conducted over six month period in 2007,
include:
    -   Community colleges and institutes encourage new business, assist
        existing business, and create long-term economic growth.

    -   Students generate about $219 million annually in higher earnings due
        to their BC college education, thereby expanding the tax base and
        reducing the tax burden on taxpayers.

    -   The province saves nearly $21 million per year that students are in
        the workforce due to improved health and reduced welfare,
        unemployment and crime.

    The BC College Presidents is a consortium of 12 community colleges and the
Justice Institute of B.C. It was created in 2002 to represent B.C.'s community
colleges and technical institutes. Its purpose is promote a better
understanding of the role colleges and institutes play in British Columbia's
post-secondary system.

    CCbenefits Inc. is an economic modeling company. The economic impact model
used in the analysis is a peer-reviewed model that has generated more than 700
studies for communities and technical colleges in the U.S. and Canada.



                                 FACT SHEET
                         Provincial Analysis Summary
             BC Colleges & Institutes: Engines of Economic Growth

    A 2007 study of the economic contribution of BC colleges demonstrates that
the colleges and institutes play a vital role in the economic development of
communities and of the province. In an economic and investment analysis of 13
colleges and institutes throughout BC, CCbenefits Inc. concludes: Students
benefit from improved lifestyles and increased earnings. Taxpayers benefit
from an enlarged economy and lower social costs. And the community as a whole
benefits from increased job and investment opportunities, higher business
revenues, and an eased tax burden. Key findings:

    Economy

    -   Each year, BC colleges and institutes and their past students
        contribute $7.7 billion or 4.3% of the income of the provincial
        economy.

    -   Students generate about $219 million annually in higher earnings,
        thereby expanding the tax base and reducing the tax burden on
        provincial and local taxpayers.

    -   BC colleges and institutes return $3.80 to the provincial economy for
        every dollar of taxpayer financial support - a 14% rate of return
        which compares very favorably with private sector rates of return on
        long-term investments.

    -   About 3% of BC college students come from outside the province. Their
        expenditures generate roughly $24 million into the British Columbia
        economy.

    Labour

    Colleges and institutes play a key role in ensuring BC has an educated
work force prepared for the needs of business and industry now and in the
future.
    -   As many as 96% of the 200,000 BC college students stay and work in
        the province initially after they leave college and contribute to the
        provincial economy.

    -   Students' annual income increases by $111 per year for every credit
        completed. They enjoy a 14% annual rate of return on their
        educational investment, and recover all costs (including wages
        foregone while attending) in 10 years.

    Community Impact

    With 13 colleges and institutes in more than 50 campuses located in every
corner of BC, students can choose an education experience and lifestyle that
suits their needs. In turn, local communities and the Province profit from the
presence of the colleges and their students.

    -   BC colleges and institutes encourage new business, assist existing
        business, and create long-term economic growth both locally and
        provincially.

    -   The colleges enhance worker skills and provide customized training to
        local business and industry.

    -   College and student spending contribute to the economic vitality of
        the communities in which they are located.

    -   The province benefits from improved health and reduced welfare,
        unemployment, and crime, saving the public some $19.6 million per
        year each year that students are in the workforce.
    

    (Editors Note: College-specific results can be accessed by contacting the
following individual colleges or via their websites: Camosun College, Capilano
College, College of New Caledonia, College of the Rockies, Douglas College,
Langara College, North Island College, Northern Lights College, Northwest
Community College, Okanagan College, Selkirk College, Vancouver Community
College and the Justice Institute)





For further information:

For further information: Jim Reed, President, BCCP, Victoria, B.C.,
(250) 595-4866, lyneacarlson@bccolleges.ca; Lou Dryden, Chair, BCCP,
Courtenay, B.C., (250) 334-5270, Lou.Dryden@nic.bc.ca; Dr.Kjell
Christophersen, President, CCbenefits Inc., Moscow, Idaho, (208) 882-3567,
kjell@ccbenefits.com

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