Economic impact report shows almost 2,700 jobs supported

MUSCLE SHOALS & PHIL CAMPBELL, ALA. — Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) added $148.5 million in income to the Northwest Alabama economy in fiscal year 2020-21. The impact supported 2,687 jobs.

Students and alumni of colleges within the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) added $6.6 billion to Alabama’s economy, supporting one out of every 27 jobs in the state, according to an economic impact report released Monday.

The independent, 102-page report by Lightcast estimates the ACCS directly impacts 98,923 jobs in the state, representing about 2.7% of Alabama’s gross state product. Additionally, taxpayers see a net benefit of $1.1 billion in added tax revenue from students’ higher lifetime earnings and increased output to businesses.

According to NWSCC President Jeff Goodwin, the report allows the College to quantify the impact it has on the community each year. “”Our community college system knows how important it is to capture the impact of how we serve Alabama every day,” said Goodwin. “This report puts numbers to the impact we knew we were making in our Northwest Alabama communities through the countless alumni stories we hear each year.”

One of the largest takeaways from the report is in regards to NWSCC alumni impact. The report states, “Today, thousands of former NWSCC students are employed in the NWSCC Service Area. As a result of their education from NWSCC, the students receive higher earnings and increase the productivity of the businesses that employ them. In FY 2020-21, NWSCC alumni generated $122.2 million in added income for the regional economy, which is equivalent to supporting 2,121 jobs.”

“Our legacy centers on helping people develop the skills they need to help build the framework of our state’s economy, and the data this report provides proves we are on a forward path of excellence in that pursuit,” said Jimmy H. Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.

“Residents are receiving a strong return on investment when they invest in training at one of our colleges – whether through an adult education program, rapid skills training program, rigorous certification or academic transfer program that allows them to move toward completing a bachelor’s degree. And, they’re using that training to make a difference right here in Alabama.”

Highlights from the NWSCC and ACCS reports:

  • The impact of the Alabama Community College System, which celebrates 60 years as a system this year and represents 24 community and technical colleges across Alabama, supported 98,923 jobs in FY2021. For perspective, the activities of the colleges and their students support one out of every 27 jobs in Alabama.
  • Taxpayers, who provided NWSCC with $16.5 million of funding in FY2020-21, will receive an added tax revenue benefit of $37.7 million. Additionally, reduced demand for government-funded services in Alabama will add another $3 million in benefits to taxpayers.
  • NWSCC students generate $8.30 higher future earnings for every dollar invested in their education.
  • The average NWSCC associate degree graduate earns $8,100 more each year than a resident who does not obtain more than a high school diploma.
  • Alabama community colleges’ operations spending was $535.8 million in added income to the state economy.
  • Alabama community colleges’ construction spending was $13.3 million in added income for Alabama.
  • The jobs retained or created and additional investments by businesses supported by the Alabama Technology Network, an entity of the Alabama Community College System, created $206.5 million in added income.
  • As a result of the $1.8 billion invested by Alabama to support the ACCS, the economy will grow by $12.8 billion over the course of students’ working lives.

Lightcast, a global leader in labor market analytics for colleges and universities, analyzed data using FY2020-21 academic and financial reports from Alabama’s community and technical colleges, as well industry and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau.

The full report can be found at The NWSCC specific report can be viewed at


About Northwest Shoals Community College:
Northwest Shoals Community College (NWSCC) is part of the Alabama Community College System and home to over 4,000 students. NWSCC offers over 100 certificate and degree programs and is committed to providing career technical, academic, and lifelong educational opportunities that promote economic growth and enrich the quality of life for the people it serves. For more information about the NWSCC, visit

About ACCS
The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) is Alabama’s gateway to first-class, affordable education and technical training to compete in a constantly evolving workforce. With 24 community and technical colleges in more than 130 locations, the ACCS benefits more than 144,000 Alabamians through various certification, credential, dual enrollment and degree programs ACCS offers alongside leading industry partners. A total of 95% of residents who study at Alabama’s community colleges remain in the state. The System includes the Alabama Technology Network, which provides extensive training and service offerings directly to business and industry. ACCS is governed by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees.