JRNM 151 Student
Lorain County Community College not only benefits local communities with educating a workforce for the future, but also contributes a significant revenue stream at the present time.
Makayla Tuck, an intervention specialist major, works at a local outdoor retail store in Sheffield Village called The Backpacker’s Shop. “I am glad to go to LCCC which is so involved with the community,” said Tuck.
She is also very happy to be working at a local business that is close to the college and home.
Like Tuck, many LCCC students work at local businesses in order to make money and pay for their education. For many small business owners, skilled LCCC students have been a valuable resource. Reece Fabbro, owner of The Backpacker’s Shop in Sheffield, said “We have benefitted tremendously from having LCCC students employed at our business.”
The Backpacker’s Shop has been around for over 50 years but having students from LCCC as both customers and employees has helped their business to thrive.
LCCC encourages local businesses to begin and grow which also encourages the improvement and growth of the community.
Mayor of Sheffield Village John D. Hunter said, “The more businesses you have, the lower taxes you have for your residents, the more services you have for the community. Which is how you benefit from having businesses in your community.”
Hunter believes that LCCC provides the education that is needed to have skilled workers. He said that even the location of the college to Sheffield Village allows the village to benefit because it brings people and their money into the community.
Sheffield Village has 303 businesses and they have a taxable value of about $179 million. Hunter also said, “85 percent of the people that live in Sheffield Village are directly or indirectly touched by the college.”
Some people dream of starting their own business but many do not get past the challenges that come with this endeavor. LCCC and its students have been helping small businesses to start, grow, and thrive for years.
Anthony Gallo, president of the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce, said, “We work hand in hand with LCCC to promote economic development.” The chamber and the Small Business Development Center at LCCC help local businesses network to get their names out in the public so they can begin to grow.
The Lorain County Chamber of Commerce also has an expo once a year that allows businesses to let each other know that they exist and they encourage them to support each other’s businesses by staying local.
The SBDC promotes growth to new businesses such as Play: CLE, an indoor adventure park in Avon. Greg Carlin, owner of Play: CLE, said, “LCCC has helped in multiple ways – provided us room space before we opened for interviews and we worked with the SBDC as well. We have multiple LCCC students that work with us and we’ve really enjoyed having them as part of our team.”
Tracy Green, vice president for Strategies and Institutional Development at LCCC, believes that the college provides skilled and educated workers which helps businesses and the community to grow. Green said, “This college is a bit unique in that, in addition to education, it added economic development to the reason as to why the college exists.” Green added that LCCC has become the communities resource for entrepreneurs as the college provides the tools to help create new products and encourage the growth of business. According to Green, the goal is to support and help create businesses that will give back to the community.
Some businesses like Avon Boot Shop have not had help from LCCC, nor do they currently have any LCCC students employed there, however, they still have LCCC students as customers that come and support their small, family owned business. Colleen McAdams, manager at Avon Boot Shop, said, “We do have students from LCCC that have come in our store to purchase work boots and shoes.”
Whether its SBDC, student employees, or simply student customers, LCCC has a tremendous impact on local businesses who are very grateful for this support in the community.