The Business Enterprise Center Located at Wright State University-Lake Campus

Posted On: April 17, 2013

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Celina, Ohio – Since the mid-1980s, there has been free business assistance available to local entrepreneurs in Auglaize, Mercer, Van Wert and other nearby counties. The Business Enterprise Center (BEC) has offered many non-credit classes for business owners, managers or employees in such topics as Excel, QuickBooks, Social Media, Computer Basics, Access, etc. These classes have been driven by the public demand for high-quality, short-term classes, offered at times convenient to working employees with training outcomes based on the needs of businesses.

Did you know that the Business Enterprise Center has helped thousands of new business start-ups since 1985? Today free business consultation services are still offered to new and existing businesses throughout our area. For many years, the cost of offering free counseling was offset by funds through the Ohio Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). In 2001 and 2002, funding was dropped from many of these centers throughout Ohio including the center at the Lake Campus. Due to strong support from the campus and the BEC Advisory Board, they were able to continue this valuable service. Since 2004 a number of local banks, economic development agencies, community foundations, and counties have donated funds to help offset the cost of this program.

They also established a Starting Right class which is currently offered at the Lake Campus once a month and in Van Wert once a month. This class has a nominal fee of $35 per business (we recommend more than one person from each business attend at no extra cost) gives entrepreneurs a general overview of topics which need to be addressed. Since 2004 over 271 businesses have taken advantage of these 2-hour Starting Right classes. Of course, those individuals who have or had an existing business can meet with a counselor to discuss many topics related to business ownership and management and those sessions are free as well. Since 2004, over 610 business owners have received free assistance and our counselors have doled out over 1,560 hours of free counseling.

Did you know that the BEC has developed and offered customized training to many local businesses? Some of the training revolves around software such as Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Word, AutoCAD, etc. Other training has been related to ‘soft skill’ training such as leadership, supervisory, business communication, teamwork, delegation, etc. Still other training has been very intensive technical training such as Direct Digital Controls (HVAC systems), LEED (green buildings), AutoCAD Civil 3d (Engineering), Finite Element Modeling, QI Macros training (Six Sigma), etc. The BEC tries to ensure quality instruction, timely topics, excellent customer service and affordability in an effort to alleviate the travel and expense of employees taking this training out of the area and sometimes, out of state.

Since late in 2007, the BEC has also offered Advanced Manufacturing training to primarily incumbent workers many of whom are maintenance technicians. Originally training and machinery was provided through a joint grant from the Department of Labor, since June 2010 the Lake Campus BEC has sustained this program which is so valuable to our manufacturing facilities. They have greatly increased the flexibility of the program and they try to work with each company to ensure their employees get the training they need but do not have to pay a substantial sum for topics not necessary to their particular facility.

They also offer open enrollment, non-credit classes to all individuals throughout the region. These classes are generally geared towards those already working in businesses but many people want to take the classes to increase their employability or to sharpen their skills to get a promotion or pay raise. These classes are offered on-site at WSU-Lake Campus. Usually there is no book assigned for the class but we do provide a helpful handout packet and there is never any graded homework!

Upcoming BEC Open Enrollment Non-credit Class Schedule:

Basic Excel for Business with Carla Hirschfeld:

  • April 30 & May 2, 2013 from 4 to 7 p.m. Room 190 Andrews Hall

iPads for Business with Sheila Goins:

  • April 30, 2013 from 6 to 9 p.m. Room 127 Trenary Hall

Advanced Excel for Business with Carla Hirschfeld:

  • May 7 & 9, 2013 from 4 to 7 p.m. Room 190 Andrews Hall

QuickBooks with Ron Kremer:

  • May 7, 8, 9, & 14, 2013 from 6 to 9 p.m. Room 194 Andrews Hall

All classes will be held at Wright State University-Lake Campus, 7600 Lake Campus Dr. Celina, OH 45822