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Community colleges and the outdoor economy

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the outdoor recreation economy accounted for around $9.9 billion of North Carolina’s GDP in 2020.  This is just from sales or receipts generated by outdoor recreational activities, such as fishing and RVing. It doesn’t include the spending on outdoor gear, the economic impact of tourism to these outdoor areas, the job opportunity in maintaining our recreational areas and so much more. 

EducationNC wants to identify what community colleges are doing to contribute to the outdoor economy’s workforce pipeline. This could be anything from trail maintenance to working for an outdoor gear company, to taking people down the river as a raft guide. This survey will take no longer than 7 minutes, and we hope to use the answers in a story on how community colleges are contributing to the outdoor economy. Thank you and thank you for lifting up our students and state!


Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker is the director of rural storytelling and strategy for EducationNC. She covers the stories of rural North Carolina, the arts, STEM education and nutrition.