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Suffolk Community College gets $42G for business training for veterans

Captree Commons on the Selden campus of Suffolk

Captree Commons on the Selden campus of Suffolk County Community College on July 30, 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Suffolk County Community College will be home to one of seven centers across the state providing business training to military veterans.

The college has been awarded up to $42,000 for a Veteran Business Assistance Center, which will be the only one of its kind on Long Island, according to Joyce Smith, entrepreneurial assistance director at Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency.

The assistance center will be housed in the Sally Ann Slacke Corporate Training Center on SCCC's Grant campus in Brentwood, but a college spokesman said last night veterans can start accessing the training program immediately.

There also will be two centers in Manhattan and at least one in the Bronx. Renaissance Economic Development Corp. will run one of the Manhattan centers, Washington Heights Inwood Development Corp. the other. Smith said a Bronx operator was still being sought.

The grant amounts are the same for all the centers.

The centers will "train veterans in the principles and practices of entrepreneurship in order to prepare them for self-employment," Smith told Empire State Development's board of directors last week.

The agency has helped veterans in the past through its Entrepreneurial Assistance Program. Begun in the mid-1980s, it operates from about 20 locations, including SCCC and Hofstra University in Hempstead.

Smith said during the state's 2014-15 fiscal year EAP aided 203 veterans whose businesses created and retained 98 jobs across the state and attracted $350,000 in new financing.

"We expect outcomes to increase in the new [state fiscal] year with additional funding and resources now available," she said, referring to the $300,000 included in the 2015-16 state budget for business training of veterans.

Separately, Empire State Development last week awarded $88,000 each to SCCC and Hofstra for their continued participation in EAP. Both have been receiving grants since the 1990s.

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