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The importance of community colleges to the Tenth District economy

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  • Alison Felix
  • Adam Pope

Abstract

The recent recession and now the recovery have caused enrollment at many community colleges to soar as unemployed workers retrain for new occupations and students who might otherwise attend a four-year college choose to save money. In the Tenth District, the importance of community colleges is likely to rise even further as the economy continues to evolve and industries demand workers with new skills. ; Labor market projections over the next decade suggest that new jobs in the district will be filled more by workers with an associate’s degree or some college than by those with any other type of education. In the short run, with state and local government funding still falling, many community colleges will be challenged to educate a growing number of students. In the long run, evolving industries will likely further challenge community colleges to produce even more workers with newer skills--both nationwide and in the Tenth District. ; Felix and Pope describe how community colleges contribute to economic development in the Tenth District and the challenges they face in economic downturns. They then examine the implications of long-run job projections in district states for the demand for community colleges graduates--and whether the states’ current level of provision of community college education appears adequate.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison Felix & Adam Pope, 2010. "The importance of community colleges to the Tenth District economy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 69-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2010:i:qiii:p:69-93:n:v.95no.3
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    1. Brad R. Humphreys, 2000. "Do Business Cycles Affect State Appropriations to Higher Education?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 398-413, July.
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