DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – A report released on Thursday shows the economic impact Northern Lights College has had on the Peace region.

The study conducted by labour market data company, Emsi, titled “The Economic Value of Northern Lights College”, assesses the impact on the regional economy and the benefits generated by the college for students, taxpayers, and the communities it serves.

The report shows the institution has supported one in 15 jobs in the region and generated $289.2 million in added income for the region in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

The additional income is around five per cent of the region’s gross regional product (GRP) and came from student and operational spending, along with alumni productivity.

“For perspective, this impact from the college is larger than the entire Retail Trade industry in the region,” reads the report.

The income is equivalent to supporting 2,907 jobs, said the report.

Breaking down the income generated, the report states NLC’s payroll and expenses toward day-to-day operations in the region were approximately $29.4 million.

The report says 41 per cent of the student body originated from outside of the service region and money students spend on living expenses is attributable to NLC. Students spent approximately $4.8 million in the area.

The biggest contribution to the region comes from alumni who were employed in the regional workforce, amounting to $255 million.

“Northern Lights College is proud to be a strong contributor to the economy of the region we serve,” said Tyler Holte, Chair, Board of Governors for Northern Lights College.

“We’re glad our students are able to learn, work, and play in northern BC, and that communities and industries support them in turn.”

Students paid $9.2 million during the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year, forgoing $23.5 million in potential earnings if they skipped college to work, according to the report.

“In return for the monies invested in NLC, students receive a present value of $60.3 million in increased earnings over their working lives.”

British Columbians paid $23.4 million in taxes to support NLC operations 2019-2020.

“The net present value of the added tax revenue stemming from the students’ higher lifetime earnings and the increased output of businesses amounts to $39.5 million in benefits to taxpayers.”

The report states taxpayers will fully recover the cost of the original investment and receive a return of $0.70 in addition to every dollar they paid.

To read the full report, click here.