Economic Impact

Central Lakes College
2023 Economic Impact Study
Completed January 2023

Central Lakes College (CLC) offers flexible learning options and innovative educational programs to meet the needs of its students. Students choose the course delivery method that best fits their life. They can even select courses that do not require commercial textbooks, making CLC’s tuition more affordable. Students have access to a wide range of scholarship opportunities, including one that allows them to receive academic and financial support while working at a local business and attending school. Graduates live and work in the region, further weaving Central Lakes into the fabric of its communities.

Contributing to the Minnesota Economy

▪ Central Lakes College generates an annual impact of $198.1 million. This includes a direct impact of $114.9 million and an indirect/induced impact of $83.2 million.

▪ Spending on operations and capital projects generates $73.9 million of the total impact, and student and visitor spending generates $124.2 million.

2023 Economic Impact Study Graphic.

Supporting and Sustaining Jobs in the State

Central Lakes College supports and sustains 1,482 Minnesota jobs (1,053 direct and 429 indirect/induced). These jobs are at the college and in the community – 267 direct jobs are employees of Central Lakes College.

Generating Local and State Tax Revenue

▪ The combined tax impact of Central Lakes College, its suppliers, students and visitors is $16.1 million. This includes a direct impact of $11.1 million and indirect/induced impact of $5.1 million.

Alumni in the State Generate Additional Impact

An estimated 18,040 Central Lakes College alumni living and working in Minnesota are continuing to make a positive economic impact after graduation. These graduates are an integral part of the Minnesota workforce, impacting the economy not only through their spending but also through the extra earning power generated by their Central Lakes College degree.

Each year, Central Lakes College alumni generate $66.5 million in economic impact for Minnesota and support and sustain 354 jobs. Over their 40-year career, Central Lakes College-Brainerd alumni will generate $2.7 billion in the economy. These impacts are based on the added value of earning a degree from Central Lakes College, not alumni full wages. This impact is based upon the total number of alumni in Minnesota 10 years after graduation. 

Making a Difference in the Community and State

Central Lakes College plays an essential role in growing Minnesota’s economy through talent development. Its impact begins early, as one of Minnesota’s leading concurrent enrollment programs. The CLC College in the Schools program is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and works with 49 regional high schools, which creates enormous cost-savings for the students taking advantage of this valuable educational opportunity. Some students in the region graduate high school having already earned an associate degree.

The academic and athletic programs at Central Lakes College are committed to giving back to the community through creative community events. The Brainerd Community Theatre, part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center, invites students and community members alike to be a part of the productions, both onstage and backstage. Central Lakes College and Crow Wing Energized teamed up to put on a 5k and 1 mile walk event to bring awareness to mental health in the community. And volunteers from the College work with Ruby’s Pantry, a non-profit food ministry serving the community on the first Tuesday of the month.

An estimated $2,788,344 in charitable donations and volunteer services are generated annually by faculty, staff, and students.

• $350,793 donated to local charitable organizations by faculty, staff, and students.

• $2,437,551 of volunteer time by faculty, staff, and students.

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