EKCEP, HOME bringsmall-business training to Eastern Kentucky

October 11, 2013

People—including out-of-work coal miners—who are considering starting their own small business can soon access nationally recognized startup training thanks to the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) and its Hiring Our Miners Everyday (HOME) initiative.

Presented by the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED), EKCEP and HOME will bring the Entrepreneurial SMARTS course to Hazard starting Oct. 28.

The course gives participants the opportunity to learn more about small business ownership and finding their entrepreneurial niche.

Hundreds of residents around the region have already completed the training and gained valuable knowledge and resources about small business startup and operations.

The four-session, 12-hour SMARTS course will be offered in Hazard on Oct. 28, Oct. 30, Nov. 4 and Nov. 6.

Each three-hour session will take place from 1-4 p.m. EST at the Kentucky Career Center JobSight, Hazard at 412 Roy Campbell Drive just past Whayne Supply.

Through EKCEP and HOME, all participants will be able to take the typically $300-per-person course at no cost.

To register for the course, people can call, toll-free, 1-855-466-3690 (855-HOME-690).

“We’ve been hearing many of our customers, including miners enrolled in HOME, tell us they’d like the chance to turn skills like electrical, plumbing, carpentry and others into a small business of their own,” said Jeff Whitehead, EKCEP executive director.

“We’re turning to Entrepreneurial SMARTS to help these people learn exactly what it takes to successfully start and run a small business, and in turn, help contribute to the economic recovery of our region,” Whitehead said.

A service of EKCEP in conjunction with the Kentucky Career Center network, HOME helps out-of-work miners discover their skills, determine new career options, covers costs for them to enter classroom training, and helps place them into subsidized on-the-job training positions with area employers.

HOME is funded through a $5.2 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

Though hosted by HOME, the upcoming Entrepreneurial SMARTS class is open to anyone in Eastern Kentucky seeking to learn how to start a small business.

A total of 250 aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners have already completed Entrepreneurial SMARTS (Simple Methods And Reality-based Training for Success) training in nearly 20 sessions offered across the region since the program began in early 2012.

The training is based on a nationally recognized program called the Core Four® Business Planning Course, and is taught by Pat Bradley, SKED small business training specialist.

Bradley is among more than 200 trainers from over 80 organizations across the country who have been certified as Core Four® Business Planning Course instructors.

For specifics on the course, visit SKED’s website at http://www.southeastkentucky.com/smarts.asp.

At Entrepreneurial SMARTS training sessions, participants are instructed in how to create a business plan, including basic knowledge about starting, financing and operating a business and planning for success.

Class participants are also given the tools needed to determine if business ownership is for them. If these entrepreneurs go on to start their own business, this training will give them a tremendous advantage by providing them access to the skill sets needed to properly get their business off the ground and running smoothly.

Upon successful completion of this training, participants receive a certificate recognizing their achievements and are also eligible to apply for business startup or expansion funding from SKED’s loan funds.

To register for Entrepreneurial SMARTS, call EKCEP and HOME, toll-free, at 1-855-466-3690 (855-HOME-690). Also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ekcep.