Genesee Community College Brings Small Business Development Center to Region

A New York State Small Business Development Center has formally opened at Genesee Community College, Dean Jerry A. Kozlowski reported to the Board of Trustees this evening. The Small Business Development Center provides free services to individuals wishing to start or expand small businesses. Services include assistance with business plans, import and export requirements, loan information and referrals, and troubleshooting business problems. The SBDC office will be located in The BEST Center, based in the Conable Technology Building of the Batavia Campus. Genesee's Small Business Development Center will be a satellite of the SBDC office located at SUNY Brockport.

Dean Kozlowski introduced two regional entrepreneurs who will serve as Small Business Development Advisors at Genesee:

•Barbara Dietrich, a Batavia-based businesswoman who successfully launched three companies. Ms. Dietrich founded a pet-sitting business with five employees in State College, PA, before her arrival in Batavia in 1992. She was president and CEO of Dietrich Foods, Inc., a home-based company that created and sold individual food products in a five-state area. Currently, Ms. Dietrich serves as an independent consultant, providing expertise in the food industry and in event management. She is a past chair of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

•Karen L. McFarland, a staffing manager for Robert Half International, Inc. In addition to her work in the personnel field, Ms. McFarland served as controller for a technology corporation, and as a financial analyst and systems analyst for Xerox Corporation. She was also the founder and owner of a four-employee company that provided accounting, tax, and other fiscal services to more than 100 clients. Ms. McFarland is a LeRoy native and Genesee Community College graduate.

These advisors will be available to help local entrepreneurs prepare business plans, develop marketing and financing strategies, and resolve obstacles to growth - all at no charge.

The new Small Business Development Center could have a significant impact on the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming region, Dean Kozlowski told trustees. "Our communities are filled with bright, enterprising people," he said. "A surprising number of these people already have 'microbusinesses'. Many more people would like to start small businesses. Through the SBDC, Genesee Community College will be able to offer fast, practical help to people like this. Every new business that begins or grows helps add strength to our local economy, and can eventually help create jobs."In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

•Approved the discontinuation of the College's Occupational Therapy Assistant program, effective in August 2009. The Board took the action after learning that, although OTA positions are in demand around the nation, only 1,540 OTA positions now exist in New York State and the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that only 60 OTA graduates are expected to be hired annually within the state through the year 2012. In addition, there are 12 OTA programs in existence across New York State, including three in Western New York.

•Heard Trustee Melvin J. Wentland report that Anton Kasanof, a trustee of Columbia-Greene Community College, will be the new president of the New York Community College Trustees Association. Board Chair Anne M. Garlock noted that Dr. Wentland received the Anne M. Bushnell Memorial Award for Special Achievement at the recent NYCCT meeting.

•Heard Vice President for Student Services George W. Walker report that the College had received 1,851 applications from prospective students for full-time study for the Fall 2006 semester, up 7.4% from the 1,723 applications received exactly one year ago.

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