Engaging the Community

What the Evidence Tells Us

Mid Michigan College is centrally located in a geographic region[23] of more than 2500 square miles. Its original service district included the five school districts in Clare and Gladwin counties. However, Mid’s outreach to other counties occurred very early in the College’s history and it has been expanding its educational impact from 1968 to the present.

The recent economic recession has been difficult for most Michigan residents. According to the Business Leaders of Michigan, our state ranks 36th in per capita income nationally, 31st in the nation in the percentage of the population that holds an Associate’s degree or higher, and 26th in the nation in the production of technical degrees or certificates. Yet we also know that jobs requiring an Associate’s degree are growing at a rate two-times higher than other credentials in Michigan.[24] Our region has been hit especially hard with a lower average hourly rate of pay and a slower growth in private sector employment than the rest of the State.[25]

Low rates of educational attainment contribute to slow economic growth. Approximately 11 percent of Clare/Gladwin citizens hold an Associate’s degree or higher and, while Isabella and Gratiot counties’ attainment rates are somewhat higher, they are still significantly lower than the state average.[26]

The recent analysis by TIP Strategies for Prosperity Region 5 reveals that most people live and work in the region. We are neither importing nor exporting significant numbers of workers. However, transportation continues to be an issue for individuals across the region as the high cost of fuel and long commuting times present barriers to those who want to travel to campus for additional training or take a new job to better their economic prospects. In addition, the Region’s population is aging. Regionally, 16.7 percent of the population is over the age of 65, compared with 14.6 percent in the state as a whole.[27]

[23] “Michigan Regional Map,” Index Mundi, , http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/united-states/quic.... (accessed November 17, 2015).

[24] “Business Leaders Insights: How Higher Education Can Help Michigan Become a Top Ten State,” Business Leaders for Michigan Report, (accessed November 17, 2015).

[25] “Kids Count in Michigan Data Book 2015,” Michigan League for Public Policy, accessed November 17, 2015, http://www.mlpp.org/kids-count/michigan-2/mi-datab... - Select County to download document. See also, http://www.aecf.org/resources/the-2014-kids-count-..., Michigan Economic Data, Real Time Labor Demand Snapshots by Prosperity Region: : http://milmi.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=219 See also, Regional Prosperity Labor Market Information Supplements: http://milmi.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=220 for the CTE information http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-6530_2629...

[26] A Snapshot of Clare County and A Snapshot of Gladwin County. Michigan State University Extension and Michigan State University Extension. Michigan State University Board of Trustees. 2015. Page 15 of each brochure.

[27] Michigan Department of Management, Technology, and Budget. http://www.michigan.gov/cgi/0,4548,7-158-54534-305...

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