KLAMATH FALLS — A recent study conducted by Emsi, a company specializing in analyzing labor market data,
shows that Klamath Community College continues to be an economic driver in Klamath County.
The economic study reported that in fiscal year 2018-19, KCC contributed $67.8 million in income to Klamath
County’s economy, up from $64.3 million in a previous Emsi study published in 2017.
“I believe our efforts are helping build a stronger economy, in both a personal and financial aspect. KCC is training
a strong local workforce that will reinfuse its wages into the local economy, creating even more jobs and opportunity
in our community,” said KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez.
In this study’s time frame, KCC employed nearly 300 full-time and part-time faculty and staff, and payroll
amounted to $14.9 million, much of which was spent in the county for groceries, mortgage and rent payments,
dining out, and other household expenses. In addition, the College spent $8.5 million on day-to-day expenses related
to facilities, supplies, and professional services. The study concluded that overall, KCC’s impact supported 1,171 jobs
in Klamath County.
“Economic development is a team sport requiring our regional stakeholders to work together collaboratively
on a regular basis. We are fortunate to have such a strong partnership with KCC, who understands and embraces
the area’s development and business needs,” said Randy Cox, chief executive officer of Klamath County Economic
Development Association. “In the projects KCEDA engages through recruitment, expansion, or scalable
entrepreneurship, KCC has consistently been a critical part of helping us effectively address a project’s workforce
requirements, so a project becomes a reality here in Klamath.”
Emsi attributed the sum of KCC’s $67.8 million impact to the college’s operations and construction spending
impacts, student spending impact, and alumni impact. According to the study, the total sum was equal to
approximately 2.9 percent of the total gross regional product of Klamath County. This contribution the College
provided on its own was larger than the entire finance and insurance industry in the county, the study said.
Gutierrez pointed out that since the previous study, KCC has launched several new program streams in response
to local workforce needs. Recently developed programming includes options to earn an associate degree in
manufacturing engineering technology, cybersecurity, or psychology, as well as short-term workforce trainings, such
as hands-on carpentry courses and accelerated medical assistant and dental hygienist programs.
KCC plans to expand its economic footprint and further connect with regional industry needs by constructing
a 35,000-square-foot Apprenticeship Center that will span five acres and will provide space for hands-on training,
apprenticeship programs, and specialized fire science training. Once complete, the project will help upskill the
region’s workforce by providing a pipeline of skilled workers, bolstering workforce development, creating jobs,
attracting private investment, and strengthening the regional economy.
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“The need for reskilling workers is on the rise and will continue to increase as the economy recovers from the
pandemic. The Apprenticeship Center, and the education and training programs being developed for the center, will
be an important part of ramping up training and developing talent for in-demand industry locally and regionally,”
said Charles “Chip” Massie, KCC’s executive director of external programs and workforce development.
As president of the newest community college in Oregon, Gutierrez said he is proud of the work KCC has done
in recent years to establish itself in the community as a leader in education and as an economic driver. But, he
noted, the work is not done.
“With the continued hard work of our community, and business and industry leaders, Klamath County will
continue to grow. KCC is committed to continuing education and programming that directly ties to our community
and region’s goals. We are strongest when we work together,” he said.