Lincoln Land Community College is approaching the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1967, and it’s amazing to look back to see how far we have come, especially if you remember the first classrooms housed in modular structures near Route 72 and 6th Street in Springfield.
I serve as an elected trustee of LLCC and look forward to the upcoming year-long 50th anniversary celebration, which will highlight the history and many achievements of the college and its graduates.
It’s hard to imagine Springfield, and the entire district we serve, without Lincoln Land. The LLCC district, which stretches from Mason City to the north, Taylorville to the east, Mt. Olive to the south and Winchester to the west, has benefitted greatly from the presence of a community college over the last half-century, and the excellent educational opportunities provided to all at an affordable price.
But how do we measure the impact of a community college? There are experts in the field who crunch the numbers for us.
In almost every business, office building, hospital or school you enter in the LLCC district, there are employees that attended LLCC. A 2009 economic impact study showed that a whopping 93 percent of area employers had hired an LLCC student over the past decade. And, almost 40 percent of area workers had taken college credit classes at LLCC during that time period.
How would the local economy look without LLCC? A more recent study showed the total economic impact of LLCC in the regional economy in fiscal year 2012 was estimated at $51.5 million.
LLCC is also high on the list of major employers in our district. With five locations in Springfield and outreach centers in Jacksonville, Beardstown, Taylorville, Litchfield and Hillsboro, our 2014 study showed that almost 690 full-time and part-time staff lived in the LLCC district with a total payroll of $33 million. In addition to wages and salaries, LLCC reported $14.8 million in operating and capital expenditures.
LLCC students who attended in 2002 paid an estimated $150 million in state taxes and $499 million in federal taxes between 2003 and 2012.
Less easy to measure is the impact of LLCC administration, faculty and staff who contribute to the community outside of work hours. All of the LLCC elected trustees serve without pay and represent the community in overseeing the largest educational institution in the district. Many LLCC faculty and staff contribute time and talent to local non-profit organizations that keep our communities strong. A few examples are: Mac Warren, assistant director for LLCC recruitment, is president of the Springfield Muni. Jamie Stout, director of community education at LLCC, is past president of Illinois Women in Leadership, incoming chair of Leadership Springfield and president of the Springfield Ballet Company. Professor Chris McDonald helps organize and speaks at the Illinois State Military Museum’s World War I reenactments. Eileen Tepatti, vice president of academic services, is past president on the board of Senior Services of Central Illinois and is Youth Exchange Officer for the Rotary Club of Springfield South. Employees of each LLCC Outreach Center are well-known and volunteer their time on various local boards and at charitable events in their communities. And the list goes on.
It’s safe to say that LLCC – its leaders, employees and students – impacts the community and beyond in a very positive way. I hope you’ll join us as we celebrate the successes of the past 50 years.