Driving Growth Through Market Research: A Case Study of York Technical College


York Technical College (YTC) sought an impartial and trusted expert to help guide their work in determining a future growth strategy. As the regional population dynamics shifted and the demand for skilled professionals evolved, the institution needed a strategic approach to ensure programs are aligned with local needs. MGT was engaged to provide insights and forecasts that would inform YTC’s future direction. This case study narrates the journey of how in-depth market research guided YTC in adapting to these changes.

Rapid Regional Population Growth and Shifts

Our research began with a comprehensive analysis of the regional demographics. YTC’s service area was experiencing rapid growth, outpacing both state and national averages. This region exhibited a notable increase in high school and traditional college-age populations, especially in York County. These findings highlighted YTC’s need to effectively tailor its programs to serve a diversifying and expanding population.

Labor Market Insights Highlight Opportunities to Partner with Employers

Our exploration into educational attainment unveiled a substantial potential market for YTC’s programs. Over 138,000 residents within the region held a high school diploma and lacked a college degree. These trends indicated that by aligning their offerings with local needs, YTC could support this untapped market and attract and retain more students. Furthermore, our examination identified a high demand for skilled professionals such as Maintenance Technicians, Registered Nurses, and Machine Operators. This convergence of labor market demands, and educational aspirations emphasized the pivotal role YTC could play in bridging the gap between workforce needs and educational opportunities in the region. Further, it highlights the importance of connecting with employers and industry partners to further the education of the workforce.

Enrollment Trends and Forecast Indicate a Potential for Growth

MGT analyzed YTC’s enrollment data trends from 2013 to 2023 to understand historical enrollment and use the data to create multiple models for forecasting. From 2013 to 2021, YTC experienced a 6.1% overall enrollment decline. However, from 2021 to 2023, total enrollment increased by 17.9%, helping bring the capture rate up to 1.70%, suggesting a renewed interest in career and technical education in the post-COVID world.

To fully understand YTC’s enrollment potential, we calculated the capture rate: the percentage of the local college-aged population enrolled at YTC. This metric provides crucial insights into how effectively YTC engages with its surrounding community and attracts students, which is essential for YTC’s future growth and sustainability. A higher capture rate indicates that YTC is effectively tapping into its local talent pool and meeting the educational needs of its community.

By improving its capture rate, YTC can enhance its enrollment numbers, strengthen its connection with the community, and ensure its programs remain relevant and impactful. This underscores the critical role of market research in identifying areas for improvement and guiding strategic initiatives to drive growth and success.

In conclusion, the partnership between York Technical College and MGT marks a pivotal moment in the institution’s trajectory. By leveraging in-depth market research, YTC gained invaluable insights into the shifting regional dynamics and evolving labor market demands. Labor market insights revealed a thriving economy with a demand for skilled professionals, presenting YTC with ample opportunities to customize training and academic programs to fill workforce gaps effectively. Additionally, calculating YTC’s capture rate provided crucial metrics for assessing community engagement and enrollment potential, highlighting the importance of continued improvement to drive growth and sustainability. By leveraging these insights, YTC is poised to adapt effectively to meet the evolving needs of its community and drive future growth and success.

This partnership is just one example of how MGT brings a wealth of experience and expertise in conducting organizational reviews, enrollment studies, market analyses, and strategic planning initiatives tailored to the unique needs of higher education institutions. Our partnership has provided invaluable insights, strategic guidance, and support for dozens of institutions nationwide, empowering them to make informed decisions and navigate challenges confidently. 

If you’d like to learn more about these solutions and how they can help support your institution, reach out to our team today for a free 30 minute consultation. 

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Publish Date

Posted on June 7, 2024

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May 23, 2024
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