Energizing the economy, KCTCS adds $3.9 billion to Kentucky economy

Published on Feb 7, 2024

lightcast study graphicReport finds that KCTCS raises wages, doubles tax revenue and creates stronger communities across the commonwealth

An independent economic impact study was released today outlining the transformative affects the Kentucky Community and Technical College System) – the state’s number one provider of workforce training and education – has on the lives and livelihoods of all Kentuckians.

Of most significance, the report determined that KCTCS added $3.9 billion in annual income to Kentucky’s economy during fiscal year 2022-2023, equal to 1.6% of the Bluegrass State’s gross state product. Moreover, expressed in terms of jobs, KCTCS supported more than 54,000 jobs, equating to 1 out of every 49 jobs in the commonwealth.

“KCTCS is an economic boom for our students, business partners, taxpayers and the state economy,” said KCTCS President Ryan Quarles. “As this report makes crystal clear, KCTCS greatly increases students’ and participants’ lifetime earnings, generates higher tax revenues and creates stronger communities. We look forward to continuing to build on our outstanding track record of success in making a positive difference in the workplaces, classrooms and counties across the Bluegrass State.”

To that effect, the economic impact study concluded that for every $1 dollar: (1) KCTCS students earned an additional $6.50 in lifetime earnings (nearly $10,000 annually); (2) tax revenue more than doubled ($2.30); and (3), in total, Kentucky counties saw an almost tenfold increase in added income ($9.60).

The comprehensive report was conducted by Lightcast, a well-respected labor market analytics firm. The report drew from a wide range of sources, including academic and financial reports from the colleges, and pertinent industry and employment data from sources such the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau.

For more information and to review the full findings, please read Economic Impact of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.