Community Salute: RCC an important part of community

Published 5:46 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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A study released earlier this week by Minnesota State, the system of 26 state colleges and seven state universities, showing the economic impact schools have on their community revealed just how important Riverland Community College is to Austin.

The study revealed that RCC’s three campuses impacted regional economies by $158.1 million, along with 1,210 jobs.

The study considered direct spending on operations, pay, benefits, and capital projects of the three sites and the estimated increase in demand for goods and services in industry sectors that supply or support the college.

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At the same time the study measured effects of student spending and the induced effect of increased household income.

What the study shows is that aside from providing top-notch education to its students, Riverland contributes to the city in terms of an economic boost that many companies might have. With this impact, those 1,210 jobs are made available to the communities of Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna and the trickle down is that businesses including stores and restaurants are also benefiting.

At the same time, the study concluded that the college generates about $12.8 million in tax revenues for both state and local governments.

It’s a cycle that keeps Austin moving and offering prime opportunities. It also will continue to provide students a future that will have reverberating effects for years to come.

While many of us knew that Riverland was a plus for the three communities, now we have several million dollars worth of impacts to bolster that status.