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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Texas Community Colleges:Southeast Region

Public community colleges serve a vital role in our state’s economy by training our workforce and preparing students for further academic study. Created specifically to expand access to higher education, they’re also notable for filling the specific educational and vocational needs of their service areas.

Regional Overview

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts divides the state into 12 economic regions. The Southeast economic region — 15 counties covering about 12,800 square miles in easternmost Texas — has one community college district: Angelina College. The region is home to about 782,000 people, or nearly three percent of the state’s population.

Regional Economic Impact

In 2020, the Comptroller’s office requested financial data from Texas’ 50 community college districts and conducted statewide and regional studies of their economic impact. Our analysis predated the COVID-19 crisis and the economic impacts that followed. The Southeast region’s only community college district, Angelina College, reported revenues of more than $40.2 million in fiscal 2018, which produced an additional $17.4 million in indirect and induced economic activity for a total impact of $57.5 million annually. The region’s community college spending supports 686 jobs. Under normal economic conditions, every dollar spent by community colleges produces an additional 43 cents of economic activity, while every dollar spent on compensation produces an additional 20 cents of total income to the state economy (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1 Estimated Economic Impact of the Southeast Region’s Community Colleges, 2019

Estimated Economic Impact of the Southeast Region’s Community Colleges, 2019
Indicator Direct Indirect Induced Total Total Multiplier
Employment 554 17 97 668 1.2
Output $40.2 million $3.1 million $14.3 million $57.5 million 1.43
Compensation $26.1 million $813,000 $4.4 million $31.3 million 1.2

Output refers to the intermediate and final economic values of goods and services. Induced impact refers to the jobs, sales/output and compensation created when new employees spend their wages at local establishments. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

Sources: JobsEQ, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas community colleges


Our model represents a conservative estimate. Other studies, including one conducted by this agency in 2008 and another by Emsi in 2015, have applied a broader view of the economic ripple effects of a community college education and found considerably greater impact.

Employment and Wages

In general, the region’s restaurant, personal care, and construction industries have seen the highest employment growth in the last five-years. The recent downturn in the oil and gas industries reduced employment in its extraction sector. Meanwhile, the Southeast region has seen additional employment increases in the construction and building cleaning and pest control fields, with top executives having the highest annual wages.

The region’s most significant occupations are shown in Exhibits 2 and 3, first by location quotient (which measures an industry’s proportionate concentration in a region versus its concentration in the U.S. as a whole), and secondly by numeric growth during the last five years.

Exhibit 2 Top Occupations in the Southeast Region by Location Quotient, 2014 to 2019

Top Occupations in the Southeast Region by Location Quotient, 2014 to 2019
Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Wages LQ Number Unemployed Unemployment Rate Five-Year Employment Change
Forest, Conservation, and Logging Workers 731 $41,200 5.87 57 7.5% -5
Plant and System Operators 2,386 $69,500 4.07 37 1.4% -185
Fishing and Hunting Workers 144 $15,100 3.5 18 11.9% 21
Extraction Workers 1,038 $45,400 2.43 128 7.1% -407
Rail Transportation Workers 462 $52,500 2.33 6 1.2% -53

Figures may not sum due to rounding. Data are as of Q3 2019 except for wage data, which represent covered employment in 2018.

Source: JobsEQ


Exhibit 3 Top Occupations in the Southeast Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019

Top Occupations in the Southeast Region by Numeric Growth, 2014 to 2019
Occupation Number Employed Average Annual Wages LQ Number Unemployed Unemployment Rate Five-Year Employment Change
Other Personal Care and Service Workers 9,422 $19,900 1.14 603 6.1% 1,853
Food and Beverage Serving Workers 15,480 $19,900 1.07 1,450 8.2% 1,418
Construction Trades Workers 16,691 $43,700 1.57 1,663 8.3% 946
Building Cleaning and Pest Control Workers 6,542 $23,900 0.93 472 6.5% 708
Top Executives 4,476 $106,100 0.9 101 2.3% 504

Figures may not sum due to rounding. Data are as of Q3 2019 except wage data, which are for covered employment in 2018.

Source: JobsEQ


Wages by Educational Attainment

Community colleges deliver a particularly good return on investments of time and tuition. In the Southeast region, workers with some college or associate degrees and with stable jobs — defined as those employed with the same firm throughout a calendar quarter — earn an average of $4,100 more annually than high school graduates (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4 Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Southeast Region and Texas, 2018

Average Annual Earnings by Educational Attainment, Southeast Region and Texas, 2018
Educational Attainment Number Employed, Region Average Annual Earnings, Region Number Employed, Texas Average Annual Earnings, Texas
Less than high school 40,454 $36,893 2,065,483 $42,808
High school or equivalent, no college 69,825 $40,911 2,765,759 $52,035
Some college or associate degree 75,084 $45,011 3,245,675 $60,428
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 45,682 $59,399 2,454,975 $95,716
Educational attainment not available 32,969 $21,455 1,544,282 $22,087
Total 264,013 $42,936 12,076,174 $58,787

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and JobsEQ


The increase in wages alone for those workers adds an additional $307.8 million in direct compensation to the state economy each year (Exhibit 5) — more than seven times the total spending of the region’s community colleges.

Exhibit 5

Total Annual Regional Earnings Increase, Some College or Associate Degree versus High School or Equivalent, 2018

Employed, Some College or Associate Degree:

75,084

Average Earnings Increase Beyond High School or Equivalent:

$4,100

Total Regional Earnings Increase:

$307.8 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, JobsEQ and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

The wage effect is particularly noteworthy given an average annual tuition for the region’s community colleges of just $2,730 per year and the modest two-year educational commitment required for an associate degree.1 The highest-paying jobs for associate-degree holders in Texas are in the energy/utility, management, professional services, trade and manufacturing sectors.2

More Degrees Needed

While the region’s new graduates and certificate holders enter the workforce in large numbers, demand for some degrees still outpaces supply. Broadly speaking, these award gaps are largely in agriculture, health professions, and business administration.

The Southeast region’s community college districts awarded more than 800 certificates and associate degrees in health professions in the 2017-18 school year; the next most-common award areas were general studies and liberal arts, engineering technologies and other trades (Exhibit 6).

Exhibit 6Top 10 Certificates and Degree Awards in the Southeast Region’s Community College, 2017-18 School Year

Top 10 Certificates and Degree Awards in the Southeast Region’s Community College, 2017-18 School Year
Certificates and Degrees Number Awarded
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences 829
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 428
Engineering Technologies/Technicians 349
Science Technologies/Technicians 322
Security and Protective Services 219
Personal and Culinary Services 194
Skilled Precision Production of Leather, Metal or Wood Products 171
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 163
Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians 140
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 68

Source: JobsEQ

Southeast Community College Overview

The Southeast region’s one community college district provided technical and academic coursework for more than 4,800 students in the 2017-18 school year (Exhibit 7).

Exhibit 7 Southeast Region Community College Overview, 2017-18 School Year

Southeast Region Community College Overview, 2017-18 School Year
Community College District Enrollment Awards Average Tuition and Fees Academic Share of Students Enrolled Technical Share of Students Enrolled Enrolled or Employed, Academic* Enrolled or Employed, Technical*
Angelina College 4,819 942 $2,730 51.5% 48.5% 85.7% 90.5%

*The percentage of academic or technical graduates employed in the fourth quarter of the calendar year after graduation and/or enrolled in a Texas two- or four-year institution in the following fall after graduation, as specified.

Source: Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Angelina College

  • Angelina College launched a Center for Nonprofit Leadership in September 2018 to provide educational programs and support services for nonprofit organizations and their leaders in East Texas.3
  • The Angelina College Procurement Assistance Center provides free advice to small businesses and industries in East Texas on how to sell their goods and services to federal, state and local governments through government contracts.4
  • To help students who want a rewarding career in medicine, Angelina College offers an associate degree in surgical technology, which trains students to prepare surgical equipment and become a member of the operating room team.5

Conclusion

Community colleges play a vital role for students and businesses by offering postsecondary education and job training at great value. As Angelina College, the Southeast region’s only community college district, works to address local skills gaps and meet the specific needs of area employers, it supports nearly 670 jobs and adds nearly $58 million in economic output annually. Furthermore, the higher pay of those with some college or an associate degree helps raise total wages in the region by nearly $308 million per year.

End Notes

Links are correct at the time of publication. The Comptroller's office is not responsible for external websites.

  1. Calculated from data in Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, THECB Texas Public Higher Education 2019 Almanac, Spring 2019.
  2. Based on data provided by JobsEQ.
  3. Angelina College, “Angelina College Launches Center for Nonprofit Leadership.”
  4. Angelina College, “Procurement Assistance Center (ACPAC).”
  5. The Pacer, “Degree in Surgical Technology Now offered at Angelina College,” (PDF) February 14, 2019.

Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material on this page, please contact the Comptroller’s Data Analysis and Transparency Division.

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