Economic Impact to Thurston County

Making a $930 Million Mark on the Economy

The value of SPSCC influences both the lives of students and also the regional economy. The college serves a range of industries in the SPSCC Service Area, supports local businesses, and benefits society as a whole in Washington from an expanded economy and improved quality of life.

The benefits created by SPSCC even extend to the state and local government through increased tax revenues and public sector savings. This report highlights several areas of economic impact created by SPSCC in the Thurston County.

Here’s a look at three points presented:

  • Economic impact of SPSCC operations and student spending
  • Economic impact of SPSCC alumni to Thurston County
  • Public Return on Investment


Economic Impact Analysis

The Economic Impact Analysis dissected the college’s operations spending, student spending, and the impact of alumni who remain in the region and purchase goods and services.

Combined, the total impact last fiscal year was $929.8 million. Here are a few highlights:

  • $43 million comes from day-to-day operations spending, payroll, and benefits;
  • $5.1 million comes from current students; and
  • $340.5 million is generated from alumni working in the region.

Operations and Student Spending

Day-to-Day Operations
Operations spending by SPSCC represents the spending required to maintain the day-to-day activities of the community college. Spending on wages, utilities, and supplies for instruction are all examples of operations spending. Watch video >

Student spending
In addition to operations spending, SPSCC attracts students from outside of Thurston County to attend classes at the community college, which generates an additional $5.1 million.

Alumni Impact

As students become more educated, their productivity grows. This productivity manifests in additional labor income for the student and in additional output for the employer. In total, SPSCC alumni are estimated to sustain 5,364 jobs, $340.5 million in labor income and $794.9 million in production of goods and services. Watch video >

Public Return On Investment

Additionally, the report presented compelling data about the public return on investment that SPSCC provides. Watch video >

The report states that, "For a net cost of $13,881,079.83 to the State, SPSCC was able to leverage these funds against other revenue sources to create a total yearly output of $134.9 million and represents a 9.72 multiplier in total economic activity for the State’s leveraged investment."


The results of this study demonstrate that SPSCC creates value from multiple perspectives. The college benefits local businesses by increasing consumer spending in the region and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers into the workforce. It enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential. It benefits state and local taxpayers through increased tax receipts across the state and a reduced demand for government-supported social services. Finally, it benefits society as a whole in Washington by creating a more prosperous economy and generating a variety of savings through the improved lifestyles of students.