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Businesses, higher ed partner for jobs

By Tom Flanigan


Tallahassee, FL – The Capital Region likely to see tougher times because of proposed state government cutbacks. Tom Flanigan reports that's sparked a new joint effort by local business leaders and Tallahassee's institutions of higher learning.

Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce President Sue Dick said Thursday's event was a combination of house warming and announcement.

"I guess this is the first official event at our new headquarters, so welcome to everyone and what a great opportunity to really launch with our partners - because that's what it's all about - new services to affect our economy and our workforce."

One partner is Tallahassee Community College. Its President Jim Murdaugh says the school is providing employee training through its professional development program to local businesses, associations and non-profits.

"For us this represents an opportunity to partner with the Chamber of Commerce here, to help make sure that this community remains economically strong as we go through some of the tough times that we're involved in."

Also part of the team is Florida A&M University's Small Business Development Center under the direction of FAMU School of Business and Industry Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud.

"The Chamber and the Small Business Development Center began discussing the need that we both identify within our business community and that is that we recognize these new businesses need additional resources to not only start, but to grow."

Under the program, the Center will set up a satellite operation at the Chamber's new Calhoun Street building. That will make things more convenient for the businesses seeking its services. The new initiative will expand upon the business help already available through the Tallahassee/Leon County Economic Development Council directed by Beth Kirkland.

"We have enjoyed since 2005 when we kicked off this initiative long-standing partnerships with Tallahassee Community College, Florida A&M University, Florida State University through various programs like the Jim Moran Institute and the Small Business Development Center and obviously the Workforce Center at TCC."

Any business or organization wanting to find out more can check out the chamber's web site, www.talchamber.com.