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City Council Considers Continuation of Small Business Training Program

For Immediate Release 
October 31, 2013 


For More Information:
John Ivanic, (614) 645-6798

City Council Considers Continuation of Small Business Training Program


(Columbus)—The Columbus City Council will consider legislation on November 4 to continue a successful small business job training program launched by City Council earlier this year.  The Small Business Training Services Pilot Program, announced in April and funded with a $10,000 amendment to the 2013 General Fund Budget from City Council’s Jobs Growth Fund, allows local companies with a contract compliance number with the City of Columbus or non-profit corporations free access to Columbus’ Citywide Training & Development facility and the numerous classes they offer to improve the professional skills of workers.  

“The idea for the pilot program came from a series of small business roundtable discussions City Councilmembers held with representatives of the Columbus business community,” said Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson, chair of the Workforce Development Committee.  “We were able to listen to their concerns and create a program that addresses their needs and will help workers in Columbus.”

Ordinance 2547-2013, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Tyson and Hearcel F. Craig, will allocate $15,000 for another round of classes to be offered this fall.   Available trainings include courses on soft skills, such as critical thinking and improving communication, and hard skills like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.   As of this week, more than 175 people had taken classes or were registered for future sessions through the Small Business Training Services Pilot Program.

“The courses offered by the City of Columbus have allowed our small staff to maximize our time and resources,” said Robin Green, Associate Director of Business Solutions for Per Scholas, a nonprofit organization that provides IT job training to low-income individuals.   “We learned to juggle multiple priorities, manage time effectively, and we will also be taking an introductory course in Spanish to better meet the needs of our clients.  I really appreciate City Council investing in small businesses.”

“This training program has removed a financial barrier to improving customer communication that is crucial to the success of our small business,” said Ann Mecklenborg, a Customer Service Specialist for Scioto Valve and Fitting Company.   “Our Customer Service Team is always looking for training that will help us provide excellent interaction with our customers to improve our bottom line.  I encourage any eligible small business to take advantage of this free program.”

For more information on Citywide Training opportunities for small businesses in the Columbus area, contact Kris Cannon-Jackson at [email protected] or 614-645-2851.