DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A sea of caps and gowns filled the University of Dayton Arena.

Some of the 3,051 students were graduating from Sinclair Community College.

“Challenging but a great learning experience,” said Amanda Block, reflecting on her five years spent getting her nursing degree.

It was a learning experience many of these students will apply to jobs in the Miami Valley.

About 88 percent of those getting a certificate and 86 percent of those getting a degree will remain in the Dayton area.

“When somebody earns a Sinclair credential, they’re making a commitment to this region,” said Adam Murka with Sinclair Community College. “They’re making a commitment to themselves and their future.”

It is a future Sinclair Community College believes is bright for the region.

The college estimates the high amount of graduates staying in the area will have an impact of more than $230 million for the Miami Valley over the next decade.

The figure is based on value of the degrees and certificates over 10 years, and applied to wage growth estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Along with the financial benefits comes the commitment of making the Miami Valley a better place.

“A lot of times our graduates are folks with families, with jobs, and mortgages,” said Murka. “They’re already invested in this community. What they’re saying by coming back to school is they want to increase their earnings, increase their education, and make a greater commitment to their future.”

For the students, it also helps having a place to begin their careers.

“There’s a lot of hospitals hiring around the Dayton area,” said Valerie Schauer, a 2015 graduate. “I have family in Dayton. This is like our home.”