Report | May 8, 2017

How Community Colleges Offer Public Safety and Public Savings

In California, community colleges generate $9.2 billion in taxpayer savings

By 2020, 68 percent of jobs in California will require at least some postsecondary education. However, based on current projections, only 50 percent of those in our state will have acquired some level of postsecondary education.

Community colleges in California currently serve over 2.1 million students. California employers are counting on community colleges to play an important role in filling this gap, since one-third of these jobs, while not requiring a four-year college degree, will require workers with some college, an associate degree, or a postsecondary vocational certificate.

Approximately half of community college students have an annual household income below $30,000.

In this report, we make the case that not only do community colleges help fill the skills gap, but offer significant benefits to taxpayers. Here, we lay out eight steps that California leaders can take to strengthen California’s community colleges and its private and public sectors, such as training public safety officers. We also spotlight Contra Costa College in San Pablo California, which boasts a particularly successful Department of Public Safety.


  1. California