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TAC and North Country SBDC Reschedule Open House

PLATTSBURGH, NY (Feb. 21, 2008) - The North Country Small Business Development Center and the Technical Assistance Center have rescheduled the open house to celebrate their new office space.

The open house, which was postponed due to inclement weather, will now take place in their new facilities at 194 U.S. Oval in Plattsburgh on Friday, March 7, from 3 to 5 p.m. It will feature remarks from New York State Senator Betty Little and SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling. For more information or to R.S.V.P. for the event, please call 518-564-2214.

The event will also serve as a launch pad for new initiatives: a research study about young professionals in the region and the start up of the North Country Business Incubator and Business Essentials.

Young Professionals Study
The Technical Assistance Center has been retained by the Workforce Investment Board of Clinton, Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties to conduct a primary research study about young professionals in the region. The intent of the study is to learn what attracts young professionals to the area and what keeps them here. It will also look at how satisfied they are with available employment and lifestyle opportunities. This research is important because this workforce is a key to success for the economic future of the North Country.

The study will include three parts: a summary of national trends, a survey of young professionals across the region, and focus groups to allow for in-depth discussions with targeted groups of young professionals.

Results of the study are expected by April 30. The Workforce Investment Board and TAC will inform businesses about the characteristics of this vital workforce and what they think about employment, recreational, and cultural opportunities in our community.

"TAC is pleased to have been asked by the Workforce Investment Board to conduct this important research. In order for our region to be competitive in today's economy, our businesses and organizations must be able to attract and retain young professionals. We believe that this study will provide valuable data to help employers make informed, successful staffing decisions," said Howard Lowe, Director of Economic Development, SUNY Plattsburgh.

North Country Business Incubator
Another initiative to be unveiled at the open house is the North Country Business Incubator. This is a non-profit partnership between the School of Business and Economics at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, its North Country Small Business Development Center, OneWorkSource, and the New York Business Development Corporation.

The incubator will help selected businesses that are in the early stages of development. OneWorkSource will assist by giving entrepreneurs access to office space equipped with desks, computers, telephone service, fax service, photocopier service and Wi-Fi Internet. Entrepreneurs will also receive technical and managerial support services, business consulting and hands-on assistance from the School of Business and Economics through the North Country SBDC. Representatives from all three groups, in addition to area business groups and professionals, will serve on the Tenant Selection Committee that decides which local enterprises receive support.

Business Essentials Web Portal
The third initiative is a Web portal, www.BizEssentials.Org, made available through a partnership between the New York State Small Business Development Center and the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh. The portal has been created to assist with the education, entrepreneurship and economic development of the northern tier of New York State.

Funding for the Web portal project is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration through a Cooperative Agreement Award. This award provides funding to develop online access to information, interactive training, and consulting services for the creation of sustainable business development.

TAC is the economic development outreach arm of SUNY Plattsburgh. It provides technical assistance to public and private sector organizations with the goal of enhancing economic development across the 16 counties of northern New York. Its mission is to increase the region's capacity to stimulate economic growth through technical assistance, applied research and information services. It leverages the resources of the college and its allies and partners, utilizing expert faculty and staff, libraries, laboratories and other resources to focus on economic development at the local level.

In addition, TAC oversees CBN Connect, the Community Broadband Network project. This public-private community partnership is developing a broadband, fiber optic infrastructure, which will provide abundant bandwidth to meet the telecommunications needs of under-served public and private users in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

The North Country SBDC, part of the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh, works one-on-one in a confidential setting with emerging, existing and expanding entrepreneurs, providing services at no cost to clients in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Northern Washington counties for more than 22 years.

The North Country SBDC is part of a statewide program funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State University of New York. Businesses seeking advice on management assistance can contact the center at 518-564-2042 or visit online at www.plattsburgh.edu/offices/support/sbdc or via www.BizEssentials.org.

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