CareerTech Graduates Add Billions to Oklahoma Economy
Surgical Technology at Central Technology Center is one of many Career Majors offered through the Oklahoma CareerTech System.
Oklahoma CareerTech graduates annually add $3.5 billion to the state's economy, according to a recently released study by a nationally-recognized economic forecasting company.
The direct benefits are 10 times the direct costs to deliver training to those who complete CareerTech programs, the study revealed.
"With only about $135 million in state funding to the CareerTech System, this means Oklahoma gets an incredible return on its investment," said Robert Sommers, state director of the CareerTech agency.
During his or her work life, a typical CareerTech graduate can expect to add more than $475,000 to lifetime earnings compared to someone who completes no additional education beyond high school.
Mark Snead, president of RegionTrack, conducted the study, a cost-benefit analysis of students completing education at technology centers. The study examined 16,075 adult and secondary students in a diverse set of fields ranging from health sciences to information technology.
"This study demonstrates the personal benefits to Oklahoma CareerTech graduates are considerable," said Sommers. "They have higher starting salaries, earn more money during their worklives, realize more non-earned income and enjoy more income in retirement."
Across all 16,075 FY11 completers, training is expected to add approximately $3 billion in current dollars to future lifetime income.
Added sales and income taxes paid directly by completers to state and local governments is estimated at $137 million, or more than $8,500 per completer.
While the study focuses on increased earnings during the work life, other documented benefits can result from the completion of career majors.
Research shows that occupation-based training provides faster entry into the labor force for young workers and increases the likelihood of becoming a professional or manager. Those completing career and technology training and education also have higher labor force participation rates and experience lower rates of unemployment than workers with only high school diplomas. Other socioeconomic benefits can accrue to the state as result of reduced reliance on public services, improved health benefits and reduced absenteeism.
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