Cuyahoga County Community College among pilot sites for Goldman Sachs Workforce Development Program
Tri C is a member of the “Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses” (aka 10KSB Program) which is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to acquire education, financial capital, and business support. The 10KSB Program aims to create mutually beneficial situations for students and small businesses that have been historically underrepresented to fill the growing skills gap across various industries.
Patrice Blakemore, Executive Director of the 10KSB Program told The Voice that, “The 10KSB Program is comprised of the 10KSB Fellows and Professional Development programs because we want to connect students with small business owners, we feel will help them in their development and growth”. Ms. Blakemore stated that “we have partnered with a lot of organizations such as COSI, the Urban League, Hispanic Chamber, Jump Start, National Association of Women Business Owners and many other organizations so that our constituents know when we are accepting applications.”
Tri-C student can participate in the Spring 2022 semester of the 10KSB program by applying November 1 – 19, 2021. To be accepted, students must be enrolled at Tri-C starting in the Spring 2022 (by December 10, 2022); be pursuing a degree; have completed at least 30 credit hours; and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Internships are available in the fields of marketing, accounting, operations, sales, human services, IT, and other business fields. According to Ms. Blakemore, “tuition is free after acceptance into the program, and students can work up to 20 hours a week for twelve weeks and will be paid $20/hr.” Students will also be matched with an alum because we want our Tri-C student to have opportunities to work in a real-life environment.”
The Professional Development program is for small businesses and is designed to identify small business owners who are passionate about growing their business and creating jobs in their community. This program includes a curriculum that focuses on practical business skills that can immediately be applied by business owners. The curriculum includes classroom discussions, peer learning exercises, skill building and experiential application and wraps up with a graduation on the last day of class. This program also has a financial capital segment which demonstrates to small business owners how to become more bankable and position their business to access financing and capital. The Program has partnered with select community development financial institutions who will provide loans to small businesses that lack access to affordable capital or that may not qualify for traditional sources of credit.
The Voice reached out to alumni of the 10KSB Program and Covesa Gragg, owner of Covesa Kelly Events told us “I had a great experience with the program and met some wonderful people, many of whom I still communicate with today”. Ms. Gragg stated that “The program immediately added value to my networking base with the diverse group of business professionals.” Ms. Gragg also stated, “I found great value in the continued support from the Tri-C team and the consistency of events that they offer to GS members to keep us informed and aligned with one another.” Ms. Gragg shared with The Voice some of the specific benefits she received from the Program which included “perspective from classmates who were not in the same industry and creation of a tangible document of what next steps for my business is and how to take (sic) make them a reality.”
Another alum of the Program, Rachel Robison, owner of Robison Equipment Company, Inc. shared with The Voice that the “10ksb curriculum gave me the structure and confidence to make informed decisions for my business, which proved helpful during the pandemic. The people that I met gave me a unique network of business owners to collaborate with, ones I never would have thought of or met without 10ksb”.
Erika Hill, Interim Director for the Program told The Voice that, “Currently, there are 31 students who work for alumni of the 10KSB Program.”