The real economic value of Technical College of the Lowcountry

Richard Gough

The Technical College of the Lowcountry elevates each student and every community we serve. How are we measuring up? Exceptionally well. A recent economic impact report shows that TCL adds $129.3 million annually to our local economy.

This represents the sum of several different impacts, including the College’s:

  • Operations spending impact of $18.4 million;
  • Construction spending impact of $383.5 thousand;
  • Student spending impact of $5.8 million; and
  • Alumni impact of $104.7 million.

While TCL creates an economic impact through its operations, construction and student spending, the greatest economic impact of TCL stems from the added human capital – the knowledge, creativity, imagination, and entrepreneurship – found in its alumni.

Students gain experience, education, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities that increase their productivity and, on average, will command $8,500 more each year with an associate degree compared to someone with a high school diploma working in South Carolina.

However, TCL’s economic significance does not stop with alumni. These talented professionals make capital more productive, too. Employers of TCL alumni enjoy the fruits of this increased productivity in the form of additional non-labor income and higher profits.

As alumni enter the workforce and earn more, communities and citizens throughout the Lowcountry and South Carolina also benefit from an enlarged economy and a reduced demand for social services.

For every $1 invested in the Technical College of the Lowcountry,

  • Students gain $6.00 in lifetime earnings.
  • Taxpayers gain $3.30 in added tax revenue and public sector savings.
  • Society gains $10.10 in added state revenue and social savings.

The numbers above speak volumes, but TCL’s impact on our alumni also goes far beyond increased skills and wages. Their personal gains run much deeper within. Their newfound confidence and renewed self-worth cannot be quantified or contained.

No matter what way you look at it, one thing is clear: investing in TCL is a win-win for us all. See for yourself. Click here to read the full report, The Economic Value of the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Lower South Carolina.

Richard Gough, Ed.D.


economic impact graphic