Funding matters highlight annual legislative talk

Stressing the economic impact of the community college system, Meridian Community College President Dr. Thomas Huebner encouraged an audience of community leaders, college personnel and state and local lawmakers that funding matters.

Dr. Huebner shared a multi-media presentation at a luncheon to a group of 50 that illustrated the College’s vision, challenges and needs. “Being able to quantify and look at how this institution is important to this community and to be able to share that with elected officials is particularly important,” he said.

The economic value of community colleges illustrated his point. Some 16,000-plus jobs are supported by Mississippi community college expenditures by colleges and students. He also said there is a $980 million in direct and indirect labor impact while there is a $128 million in tax revenue.

More than 8,870 community college graduates entering the Mississippi workforce generate $522 in wages and salaries annually.

For every state tax dollar invested in community colleges, Mississippi gets back $4.86 – a 386 percent net return.

“It’s part of the story we need to tell – we need to do a good job telling,” Dr. Huebner said. He added, “we are thrilled to be a part of this community and to have a great relationship with elected officials, those in k-12 education and friends at Mississippi State University, as we think about moving forward together.”

He said he’s looking forward moving forward as the next state legislative session gets underway. Dr. Huebner added, “I think we have big things ahead of us.”

Photo: MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner talks to Dr. John-Mark Cain, Lauderdale County School District Superintendent, and Jonathan Wells, Lauderdale County Supervisor after the conclusion of the annual legislative luncheon.

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