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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, November 29, 2010

CONTACT:
Chris Bender, Southwestern College
(619) 482 – 6564

Southwestern College Launches New Program to Assist Local Veteran-owned Businesses

Can Help Businesses Compete for Government Contracting

CHULA VISTA, CA – Southwestern College today announced a new program designed to help local businesses owned by service-disabled veterans better compete for government contracts. The free program can help businesses respond more competitively to federal solicitations and improve their performance once contracts are awarded.

“From our classes to our counseling and community programs, Southwestern College believes we must serve the men and women who have served our country,” Dr. Raj K. Chopra, Superintendent/President of Southwestern College, said. “Helping local veterans and their businesses succeed is one way we can thank our service members.”

The Federal Contracting Certification (FCC) program is offered by the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC) – a sponsored program of Southwestern College – in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and includes 12 online courses. On completion, businesses can display the FCC logo:

  • signaling to government contractors they are better prepared to win a contract, and;
  • assisting their company to stand out amongst competitors.
“We wanted to do something special for our veterans – this is our way of doing that,” Trisha Ferrand, San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center’s Senior Procurement Specialist, said. “This program is intended to give our disabled veteran owned small businesses a head start to becoming more competitive and successful in the government market sector.”

The SDCOC works with small, local businesses to make them more competitive in today’s economy by providing free services such as one-on-one counseling and development workshops. Last year, the Center served more than 600 local businesses last year including 115 which were disabled veteran-owned.

In October, Southwestern College was honored as one of the nation’s top institutions for service members and veterans, according to G.I. Jobs. The College’s honor recognizes the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students. The College was also awarded $100,000 from the American Council on Education to help promote the academic success of its veterans and their dependents in June 2009.

Currently, the College has 890 service members benefiting from receiving their G.I. educational benefits.

About Southwestern College

Fully accredited since 1964, Southwestern College is the only public institution of higher education in southern San Diego County and is the primary source of higher education for approximately 400,000 residents of communities including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro, Sunnyside and Coronado. The College serves approximately 20,000 students each semester and offers more than 312 associate degree and certificate options.