Community colleges train the state’s workforce and support the economic development goals of the state. During downturns, community colleges are one of the institutions that see their enrollment increase significantly as workers return to upgrade their skills or retrain for new careers. This recession was no exception, with community college enrollment increasing by 27 percent since Fiscal Year 2007-08. Despite this growing demand, the state’s investment to ensure that community colleges can continue to serve a growing student population with the relevant and effective education and skills training declined by 1 percent. Without adequately funding community colleges, North Carolina is falling behind and losing a key tool in the effort to achieve and sustain long-term economic growth.