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Report: Gateway and its students add more than $554 million to local economy

Inspire Center

Taxpayers receive $1.30 return for every $1 of public money invested in college

Gateway Technical College and its students had a $554 million economic impact to the Gateway Technical College District economy, or about equal to 2.4 percent of the region’s gross regional product, a recent economic survey indicated.

In addition, one out of every 28 jobs in the Gateway Technical College District is supported by the activities of Gateway and its students.

This survey was part of a sweeping report of the college’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year impact on the economy, taxpayers, its students and the state conducted by Emsi Burning Glass, a national labor market and economics analytics company.

“Gateway’s economic impact within and throughout Southeast Wisconsin is evidenced by the return on investment outlined in this study,” said Gateway Technical College President and CEO Bryan Albrecht. “On behalf of the Gateway community, we value the investment in our college and strive for positive results through education, training and community service.”

While this year’s data and analytics have changed from other studies – making it hard to compare the new study with older studies – the results are similar in that the college continues to be an important part of the area’s economic machine. 

It shows the college’s strong impact on the economy and tax base of Southeastern Wisconsin as well as the long-lasting impact a Gateway education has on its graduates and the economy.

While the report takes a look at the lifelong impact of the college’s education on its students and the area economy, it also focuses specifically on the 2020-21 Fiscal Year for other specific data.

The economic impact outlined in the study supported 8,573 regional jobs, and Emsi Burning Glass findings showed that for every $1 of public money invested in Gateway, taxpayers receive a cumulative return of $1.30 in the form of higher tax receipts and public sector savings.

Other findings include:

  • By the end of the working careers of students enrolled in 2020-21, the state will have collected a present value of $99.7 million in added taxes.
  • People in Wisconsin invested $142.9 million in Gateway in Fiscal 2020-21. This includes the college’s expenditures, student expenses and student opportunity costs. In return, the state of Wisconsin will receive an estimated present value of $1.1 billion in added state revenue over the course of the students’ working lives.
  • The total impact of student spending is $8.3 million in total added income and is equivalent to supporting 172 jobs.
  • Over a working lifetime, the benefits of the associate degree over a high school diploma will amount to an undiscounted value of $424,200 in higher earnings per graduate. The present value of the cumulative higher future earnings that all of Gateway’s Fiscal 2020-21 students will receive over their working careers is $317 million.

The study was conducted by Emsi Burning Glass, which in June rebranded itself as Lightcast.