Study Shows CPTC Generates $187.9 Million Impact on Economy

May 18, 2017

A recent study completed by the Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) measuring Clover Park Technical College’s economic impact on Pierce County revealed that CPTC adds nearly $200 million dollars annually to the economy, and its students will see a $2.50 return for every $1 they spend on their education at the college.

The study, commissioned by CPTC, calculated that the college and its students added $187.9 million in income to the Pierce County economy during the 2014-15 analysis year. That figure is approximately equal to one percent of the county’s total gross regional product. By comparison, the impact from the college is nearly as large as the entire utilities industry in the region.

“We’ve long seen the impact our students and alumni have on meeting workforce demand within Pierce County,” CPTC President Dr. Joyce Loveday said. “We’re excited to see this study reveal an impressive numerical value that quantifies the impact of our work. We’ve been a vital member of the community for 75 years, and the value of higher education and workforce training is only growing.”

CPTC is an important employer in Pierce County. In fiscal year 2014-15, the college employed 322 full-time and part-time faculty and staff. Of these, 80 percent lived in Pierce County. CPTC’s day-to-day operations added $32.6 million in income to the county, while student spending added $8.3 million, and students and alumni generated $147 million in added income for the county. That total figure of $187.9 million is equivalent to supporting 2,803 jobs.

CPTC’s impact leads to a significant return-on-investment for students, taxpayers and society. For every dollar CPTC students spend on their education, they gain $2.50 in lifetime earnings for an 11.6 percent average annual return. Meanwhile, taxpayers gain $2.60 over the course of the students’ working lives for every dollar spent, an average annual rate of return of 9.2 percent. CPTC returns more to government budgets than it costs. From a social perspective, CPTC students will return a cumulative value of $7.70 in benefits during their working lives for every dollar spent.

As the study concludes: “CPTC creates value from multiple perspectives. The college benefits local business by increasing consumer spending in the county and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers into the workforce. It enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential. It benefits state and local taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services. Finally, it benefits society as a whole in Washington by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.”

“We’ve always been proud of the positive impact a professional degree or certificate has on the lives of our graduates,” Loveday said. “It’s gratifying now to see the impact of their success on the local economy and community. A technical degree provides local industries with well-qualified workers that boost the local economy and provide a significant positive return to taxpayers and society.”

More information about CPTC’s economic impact and the results of the EMSI study can be found at

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