CHANCELLOR CURTIS IVERY (center) with two of the community leaders who came together last week at the downtown campus of Wayne County Community College District to support the millage.
Wayne County Community College District which has been a leader in helping to transform the lives of those living and working in southeast Michigan is asking residents in November to approve 1 mill for 10 years to address the decline in property tax revenues.
As a top producer of those with associate degrees and college certificates in Michigan, WCCCD under the leadership of Dr. Curtis Ivery serves a critical role in economic growth and workforce development at a time for Wayne County.
The college has lost more than $30 million over the past two and a half years due to the economy and property tax decline. Yet, as there is an increasing demand for education and training to meet the need for competent and knowledgeable talent for the southeast Michigan economy, the District needs a solid foundation of support to continue its mission, something it lacks right now.
The District is faced with diminished support from local property assessments; a challenge facing every public institution and locality in Michigan. Where local assessments used to represent 66 percent of general operating support, today that proportion of institutional revenue contributes only 43 percent of total funds. State support has been reduced to 16 percent of WCCCD’s budget and the District has reluctantly increased tuition in a challenging economic environment for students. However, the citizens of Wayne County have the opportunity to ensure that the record of success and achievement WCCCD has demonstrated during the past 15 years will continue and allow thousands of fellow residents to become contributing members to the local economy by passage of a 1 mil levy for the District.
WCCCD has responded to the support voiced by stakeholders in 2001 and 2010 by increasing career programs that meet the demands of local employers, improving technology, classrooms and laboratories ensuring high quality instruction, and implemented the highest degree of institutional transparency of any public entity in the state. The District has recognized as a model for colleges across the nation and ranks among top institutions for financial management and administrative leadership as demonstrated by the AA rating by Fitch Ratings New York in 2012.
Yet, the campuses serving more than 72,000 students each year may disappear if the base support for the District is not sufficient to meet the challenge in educating those living and working in the region. If WCCCD is not able to be the bridge to success for those in the region, all the communities in the 32 cities and townships served by the District will suffer. That is why your support for WCCCD’s 1 mill is so important for today and tomorrow. Your support makes a difference—an important statement about the need to educate and train qualified and competent workers to help create a vibrant and competitive region in a global economy.
Wayne County Community College District plays a significant role in the local economy and is a sound investment from multiple perspectives. Students benefit from improved opportunities, higher skills and increased earnings. Taxpayers benefit from an increasing economy and lower social costs. The community benefits from increased jobs and investments higher business revenues; reduced social costs resulting in increased public funds available for other priorities, and an eased tax burden.
• For every dollar of support, taxpayers see a cumulative return of $2.20 from higher tax receipts over the course of students; working careers.
• The average income for a WCCCD graduate with an associate’s degree at mid-career is $59,900; 35% more than a student with a high school diploma.
• State and local governments see a rate of return of 8.0 % from support of WCCCD.
• The local Wayne County economy annually receives approximately $55.3 million in revenues from District operations.
• Students enjoy a 18.1% return on their investment in an education at WCCCD
• Higher earnings of WCCCD students and associated increases in state income expand the tax base in Michigan by about $122.4 million each year.
• The added income attributable to the accumulation of WCCCD credits in the workforce is approximately $289.4 million each year.
• Michigan will see avoided social costs amounting to $6.6 million per year from savings associated with improved health, reduced crime, reduced welfare and unemployment related to student enrollment.
The dramatic transformation of WCCCD over the past decade is the result of several positive initiatives, e.g. new programs, significant improvements in student services, upgraded technology and student facilities improvements. A partial list of the District’s tremendous milestones and accomplishments is highlighted inside this brochure.