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Lorain County Community College President & Provost Join National Forum to Promote Entrepreneurship

National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Promotes Entrepreneurship by Engaging Community Colleges to Join New 'Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum'

May 11, 2012: The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation's leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that President Roy Church and Provost Marcia Ballinger of Lorain County Community College have joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Through the program, presidents of community colleges throughout the country commit to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve. Officials from four other Ohio community colleges have also joined the new forum.

With the economy still lagging in many regions of the United States, more than 170 community colleges have joined the entrepreneurship forum, and by doing so, have committed to playing a greater role in stimulating economic development in the communities they serve.

"Community colleges can and should take a leading role in growing their regions' economies by placing entrepreneurship at the forefront of their offerings," said Dr. Church. "We've taken this grow-your-own approach at Lorain County Community College for more than 10 years now, supplementing our entrepreneurial education programs with a continuum of support for our region's entrepreneurs. In doing so, we are responding to one of the greatest needs within our and any community—and that's job creation."

Other Ohio community college officials joining the forum are President O'dell Owens of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Cincinnati; President Cristobal Valdez of Edison Community College in Piqua and Greenville; President Kevin Boys, Southern State Community College, serving Adams, Brown, Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties; and President Laura Meeks, Eastern Gateway Community College, serving Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

About the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum

The Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is in response to the Obama Administration's Startup America call to action to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup America Partnership, an alliance of the country's most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders.

According to NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. Community college presidents who join the Forum make five commitments:

  • Develop transparency of community college and community assets
  • Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship
  • Increase entrepreneurs' engagement in community colleges
  • Engage in industry cluster development
  • Create broad exposure to their college's commitment to entrepreneurship

"The five commitments were developed based on NACCE's observations of what was working best on member campuses," said Van Sickle. "After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions," she said. "One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship."