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Study shows positive impact of Genesee Community College

BATAVIA – Along with its goal of educating students and improving jobs and business opportunities, Genesee Community College provides a $169 million annual impact on the four counties its serves.

A detailed study by Economic Modeling Specialists released Wednesday at a meeting that included representatives of the county Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Center, shows the “impact continues to grow dramatically.”

The impact for Genesee County is $90.4 million. The study also shows substantial impact on three neighboring counties where GCC has satellite campuses: Wyoming, $33.8 million; Orleans, $25.6 million; and Livingston, $19.3 million.

A summary shows an annual $9.7 million net return to taxpayers through taxes paid by former students, which total $32.7 million, minus the state aid and local property tax supporting the college, which total $23 million.

Since its founding in 1966, GCC has graduated more than 24,000 students. About 70 percent of them remain in the area and have lifetime earnings averaging more than $400,000 over what high school graduates make. Seventy percent of that group live within a 30-minute drive of a GCC campus.

“Revenue flowing into state and local coffers as the result of GCC operations is now greater than the tax support state and local governments provide,” the study showed.

Another asset is the business training programs that “boost productivity and earnings of local businesses,” according to the research. Other factors are an $11.4 million reduction in health and social service spending because of higher education and the support of 4,220 jobs in the four counties.

The research shows that GCC’s cost per full-time equivalent student is $7,564, among the lowest of all SUNY schools and 21 percent lower than the state average. That was aided by $4.2 million in grants.