Columbus State Students Play Large Role In Economy

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Large companies and universities often are thought to be the big players in the local economy. But Columbus State Community College reports its students are making significant contributions of their own.

Columbus State Community College reports its students contribute more than $96 million to the state’s economy in taxable income each year. Nancy Case, who directs the Transitional Workforce at the college, said many students are non-traditional who have already have jobs, but desire other career opportunities.

“They’ve been in the workforce and they’re looking to upgrade their skills. This is their home, and I think the statistics point to the fact that they’re staying in our communities, which is a benefit to our communities,” Case said.

Columbus State said about 95 percent of its student stay in Ohio. Last year, the college experienced record enrollment with more than 24,000 students. School officials say low tuition, convenience and the economy contribute to the increases.

And Case said many incoming students are workers who have been affected by the recession.

“Their skills set now need to be upgraded and so they’re coming back to refresh and update and expand their skill sets for jobs that exist today,” she said.

2010 summer classes enrollment is up nearly 30 percent over last year’s.