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Tuesday, February 8, 2011   
Chris Bender @ 619.482.6564


New Program Will Help Prepare Veterans Better Compete for Government Contracts

CHULA VISTA, CA – Southwestern College today announced $30,000 in new funding for its Small Business Development Center and Center for International Trade Development (sbditc) to provide assistance for veterans starting small businesses. The funding comes from AT&T’s “Disabled Veterans Micro Enterprise Development Program,” a pilot initiative to support new business creation and self employment by disabled veterans.           

“It is our honor to support our local veterans and Southwestern College is proud to help lead this initiative,” Denise Whittaker, Interim Superintendent/President of Southwestern College, said. “With veterans as students and clients, we are helping them succeed after they leave the service, providing a path towards career development and self-employment.”

Located at the College’s Higher Education Center in National City, the Program includes:

  • Training workshops on business operations and management topics;
  • One-on-one counseling sessions;
  • Customized training schedules for individual participants; and
  • Personalized assistance based on individual start-up and existing business needs.

Business owners who complete the Program will be qualified to sell their products and services to federal, state and local government agencies.

“It’s great to have a program that will benefit the service-disabled men and women who are transitioning out of the armed forces, providing them with tools to own their own businesses,” Ken Clark, Small Business Services Coordinator for the Small Business Development Center and Center for International Trade Development, said. “The training is also available for spouses, making this a family affair.”

At 2.1 million, California has the highest number of veterans of any state:

  • 18 percent are women
  • 30 percent are African American
  • 21 percent of vets between 18 and 35 and 18 percent of those between 35 and 45 have service-related disabilities.

Few services currently exist to target microenterprise development and support for disabled veterans.

In November 2010, The College’s San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center 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.

About Southwestern College

Accredited since 1964, Southwestern College is the only public institution of higher education in southern San Diego County, serving approximately 400,000 residents in Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Nestor, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro, Sunnyside and Coronado. The College offers more than 312 associate degree and certificate options.

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