Texas’ public community colleges serve a vital role in our state’s economy by developing our workforce and preparing students for further academic study. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is highlighting the economic impact of these institutions in another installment of his Good for Texas Tour series.
During his Good for Texas Tour: Community College Edition, Hegar is sharing the results of a new Comptroller study on Texas’ 50 public community college districts. The study details the importance of these institutions in preparing young Texans to further their educations and begin successful careers in the state’s workforce.
Noting that he began his own educational career at a community college, Hegar said, “That first step into higher education paved the way for everything else, including my decision to become a lawyer and the honor of representing Texans in public office. These institutions tackle strategic workforce needs and provide a more affordable option for parents and students seeking higher education and job training opportunities.”
Texas’ 50 community college districts enrolled about 700,000 students in 2017, or 46 percent of all Texas higher education students. The Comptroller’s office estimates that community college districts contribute $9.8 billion annually to the state’s economy and support nearly 78,000 jobs. Furthermore, the higher pay of those with some college or an associate degree helps raise total wages in Texas by more than $27 billion per year.
Note: Our study predated the COVID-19 crisis and the economic impacts that followed. The Comptroller has indicated in several interviews that the state’s community colleges will play a leading role in providing a low-cost option for students to build new skills and acquire certifications to become more marketable and better prepared to take on new jobs once the economy recovers. The Comptroller sees community colleges as critical to ensuring that Texas will emerge from this challenge stronger and better prepared for the next cycle of economic growth.
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