SBA Emerging Leaders program comes to campus

The Williamson College of Business Administration and the Small Business Development Center at Youngstown State University will again sponsor the 2013 Emerging Leaders executive-level training initiative launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 27 cities and communities across the country.

The seven-month executive leader program begins April 16 with classes in Williamson Hall. The curriculum includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities. Recruitment for the 2013 training cycle started Feb. 1 through SBA district offices.

Local companies participating in the program include Patrick Burgan, Burgan Real Estate LTD; Paula Chamberlin, Presswell Cleaners; Linda Kuzior, Redex Industries Inc.; Tracy Jordan, Happy Campers Learning Center; Karen Mamula, Mamula Contracting LLC; Christian McKernan, Wm. Price Heating and Cooling; Tom Mikes, Big Rig World; David Raspanti, Rockwood Painting Contractors; Susan Scenna from Milsek Furniture Polish Inc.; Dale Sullivan, CDK Services dba ServiceMaster; Randall Swogger, Turnaround Group Inc.; Mike Tarantino, IM Image Marketing Inc.; Matthew Weinreber, L.A.M.B. Construction and Electrical; and Bill Williams, Imaging Results.

Forty-nine business owners from the local community have benefited from the program since it began in the Youngstown area two years ago. This year the SBA will launch an Emerging Leaders alumni network to continue the business-to-business connection and continuous learning.

“The Mahoning Valley is extremely fortunate to be among the selected cities to benefit from the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative,” said Dawn Ochman, president of Dawn Incorporated and 2012 Emerging Leaders graduate. “The course study is specifically tailored to entrepreneurs and the growth of their business. The education from the course study coupled with the relationships that develop with fellow business peers inspires economic growth.”

SBA Administrator Karen Mills said graduates of the program have increased their revenue, created jobs and helped drive local economic growth in their communities. The SBDC assisted with recruiting businesses for this initiative.

The Emerging Leaders initiative has been a catalyst for expanding opportunities for both urban small business owners and Native American communities. Sixty-seven percent of surveyed participants reported an increase in revenue while 75 percent of those surveyed reported maintaining or creating new jobs in their communities.  Surveyed participants also reported having secured more than $26 million in new financing for their businesses, and an increase in confidence when applying for government contracts. As a result, nearly half of the initiative graduates reported securing federal, state and local contracts, worth more than $330 million.