TCCD the Economic Engine: Impact Valued at $2.1 Billion

The Tarrant County College District is turbocharging regional economic growth, generating an estimated $2.1 billion in added income for Tarrant County while providing students with the education and training needed to meet growing North Texas workforce demands.

An independent study by the nationally recognized labor market analysis firm Lightcast confirms TCCD’s value extending far beyond a traditional two-year college education. District activity supports one in every 54 jobs in Tarrant County.

Released last semester, the report draws from TCCD financial figures and from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau for fiscal year 2021-22.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that TCCD is helping drive the region’s talent and workforce strategy,” said Chancellor Elva LeBlanc. “Strengthening education and job training at all levels has been our mission for almost 60 years. Education and workforce development are synonymous with economic growth and prosperity.”

The Lightcast study offers impressive details.

As a result of their TCCD education and training, Trailblazers receive higher earnings and increase the productivity of the businesses and industries that employ them. Alumni generated $1.7 billion in added income to the county’s economy in FY 2021-22, equivalent to supporting more than 20,500 jobs.

“Perhaps more impressive is the power of a transformative education to change lives,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college. Some want to advance their careers, and others need additional training to increase opportunities for a better-paying job. When they thrive, we all thrive.”

TCCD associate degree graduates in FY 2021-22 on average will earn an undiscounted $377,200 more than high school graduates over their working lives in Texas ($9,200 more annually per graduate). Students who transfer to a four-year institution and earn a bachelor’s degree will make $29,100 more than a high school graduate each year.

Put simply, TCCD associate degree graduates receive $9.20 in higher future earnings for every dollar they allocate to their education, the study says — an average 30% annual return on their investment. That’s more than triple the U.S. stock market’s 30-year average of 9.6%.

Taxpayers, in return, benefit from $453.6 million in added tax revenue stemming from students’ higher lifetime earnings and increased business output. The reduced demand for government-funded services, due to lifestyles changes associated with a higher education, adds another $40.2 million in savings.

For every dollar of public money invested in TCCD in FY 2021-22, taxpayers receive $1.30, or a 1.8% average annual rate of return over the course of the students’ working lives.

TCCD offers traditional degrees — Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science — workforce and economic development, and technical and skilled trades programs, plus customized training to companies relocating or expanding in North Texas. Think Toyota, Caterpillar, Frontier, McKesson and State Farm.

Dr. LeBlanc: “When businesses and industries consider a move to North Texas, they want to know about opportunities for their employees — accessible, affordable educational and training opportunities.”

Of TCCD’s $2.1 billion Tarrant County impact, day-to-day operations spending added $267.2 million in FY 2021-22 income, student spending provided $93.1 million, and construction spending accounted for another $46.1 million.

A redevelopment of the Northwest Campus and upgrades to the Southeast Campus are underway. Funding comes from the TCCD bond program Tarrant County voters approved in 2019 to construct, improve, renovate and equip facilities on all six District campuses.

“Lightcast findings prove what we’ve known all along,” Chancellor LeBlanc said. “TCCD is impacting lives, transforming the community and spurring economic progress that elevates the region and the individual.

“We’re not just building a college. We’re growing the place we call home.”

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Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.