Skip to main content

Macomb Community College adds nearly $1 billion to county’s income; every $1 invested by taxpayers returns $5 in benefits

– Monday, April 9, 2018 12:00AM

Economic impact study demonstrates that the college generates more tax dollars than it takes in, and retains and creates wealth  

Macomb Community College provides significant economic value to Macomb County and the region, with a recently completed study finding that the college and its students add $992.4 million in income to the county’s economy and provide a return of $5 in benefits for every $1 invested in the college by taxpayers.  Emsi, a leading provider of economic impact studies and labor market data to educational institutions, workforce planners and regional developers in the U.S. and internationally, completed the study employing fiscal year 2015-16 academic and financial data.  (At the time of the study, the latest year for which complete data was available.) 

The study consisted of two components: an investment analysis, which is a comparison of costs and benefits to determine return on investment, and an economic impact analysis, which measures how an event or institution affects the local economy.                                                                               

“This economic impact study demonstrates what county residents have known all along as they have supported the growth and evolution of Macomb Community College – that the college is an important driver of the vitality of Macomb County and the region,” said James O. Sawyer IV, Ed.D., president, Macomb Community College.  “Macomb’s education and training programs connect our residents to workplace opportunity, and our alumni, who largely remain in the community to live and work, provide the talent vital to sustaining and growing local business and industry, as well as economic resiliency.” 

The $5 of benefit returned to taxpayers for every $1 they invest in the Macomb Community College is comprised of added tax revenue stemming from the college’s students higher lifetime earnings, increased output of local businesses and savings to the public sector due to reduced demand for government-funded services. 

The study also showed that students receive a substantial 13 percent return on their investment in a Macomb education.  For every $1 spent, students gain a return of $3.50 in higher future earnings. 

“Macomb Community College is a driving force in the economic transformation happening here in Macomb County,” said John Paul Rea, director, Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development. “Through their thought leadership, innovative programming and workforce development, the college is helping shape the future of industry.  This report not only certifies the sheer economic impact they have on our community, but illustrates the tremendous opportunities we have right here at home with such a dynamic institution like the college." 

During the analysis year, Macomb Community College operations, its students and alumni added
$992.4 million in income to the Macomb County economy, approximately equal to 2.5 percent of the county’s total gross regional product.  This means that more than 16,000 jobs in Macomb County – one out of every 26 -- is supported by the activities of the college and its students. 

A fact sheet further explaining the results of the economic impact study is available here.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 40,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.


Media Contact: Jeanne Nicol, 586.445.7204,