Study: BMCC Drives $157.5 Million Economic Impact to E. Oregon


A new study has revealed the extensive impact that Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC) has on the Eastern Oregon regional economy and its return of investment for students and tax payers.

The comprehensive analysis was conducted by independent labor market research firm Lightcast, part of a larger project that was commissioned by the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA) and all 17 Oregon community colleges. Data reveals that BMCC generates $157.5 million economic impact in the 2021-2022 fiscal year while supporting 1 out of 34 jobs in the Eastern Oregon region.

The focus of the report, primarily on the 2021-2022 fiscal year, dives deep into the regional economic impact of BMCC’s operations, student spending, and alumni, along with the benefit to taxpayers and students. The $157.5 million impact is equivalent to approximately 2.2% of the total gross regional product within the region BMCC serves, which includes Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Baker, and Grant counties while bringing in a total taxpayer benefit of $16.8 million.

“This report helps demonstrate what Blue Mountain Community College has been doing for over 60 years– serving and giving back to the communities we serve,” said BMCC President Dr. Mark Browning. “The impact of alumni, current students and our wonderful staff and faculty, collectively supporting some 2305 jobs and 157.5 million dollars annually shows a most positive return on investment of public dollars.”

For students, attending BMCC brings a 6.3 benefit-cost ratio. In other words, for every dollar students invest in BMCC, they receive a cumulative value of $6.30 in higher future earnings. The rate of return for students annually is a whopping 21.8%, compared to the stock marketing 30-year average annual return of 9.6%.

Other key points from the report include:

The net impact of BMCC’s former students currently employed in the regional workforce amounted to $137.9 million in added income in FY 2021-22.

  • The net impact of the college’s operations spending added $17.7 million in income to the regional economy in FY 2021-22.
  • · In return for their investment, students will receive a cumulative present value of $44.2 million in increased earnings over their working lives. This translates to a return of $6.30 in higher future earnings for every dollar students invest in their education. Students’ average annual rate of return is 21.8%.
  • · FY 2021-22, Oregon invested $28.7 million to support BMCC. In turn, the Oregon economy will grow by $156.2 million, over the course of students’ working lives. Society will also benefit from $4.3 million of public and private sector savings.


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