Monday, July 27, 2015

Federal Initiative: SLCC helping ‘accelerate resurgence of manufacturing’ in Utah

Salt Lake Community College is part the latest round of 12 “communities,” or states, selected to take part in the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative, a U.S. Commerce Department-led project designed to “accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide by supporting the development of long-term economic development strategies.”

The Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) was one among the second round of “manufacturing communities” that will benefit from more than $1 billion in federal funds that will fuel “targeted” grants for participants. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the first 12 designees in May 2014. “An IMCP designation is an important signal to potential investors that these communities are a good place to spend their money, and this is smart government at work,” Pritzker said.

For the past 50 years Utah’s so-called Advanced Composite Cluster has grown to serve national and international markets through its highly specialized manufacturing capacity in advanced composites materials and products for aerospace, outdoor recreation and equipment and transportation equipment industries. The UAMMI, using a chain of “local solution centers” and led by the University of Utah, involves seven colleges and universities, including SLCC, seven state and local economic development groups and nine industry partners. One center, SLCC’s Westpointe Campus, will “advance as a comprehensive solution center for manufacturing technology training and entrepreneurship advancement,” said Karen Gunn, SLCC Associate Provost of Economic Development and Business Partnerships. The College also offers a Manufacturing Engineering Technology program that trains students to be composites technicians.

“This important designation will promote communities taking a strategic, comprehensive approach to long-term operational improvement of manufacturing activities,” said Nicole Omer, SLCC Office of Sponsored Projects director. “The Utah Initiative (UAMMI) involves deep relationships between the public and private sector and is designed to have a substantial impact on developing critical manufacturing workforce infrastructure.”

In addition to having access to federal funds, the designated manufacturing communities selected to take part in the IMCP also receive a dedicated federal liaison to help navigate all available federal resources. The UAMMI and other participants also receive increased global visibility via a government website that is accessible to prospective private foreign and domestic investors investigating manufacturing communities’ “competitive attributes.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SLCC President Attends Harvard Seminar

Salt Lake Community College President Deneece G. Huftalin recently was one of 50 competitively selected presidents from private and public institutions from around the country to participate in the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, held annually at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Productive, articulate, responsive leadership is expected as soon as a new college or university president assumes office, and the external and internal challenges facing institutions today do not permit the luxury of learning on the job. Addressing those concerns, the seminar provided new presidents with a practical and conceptual orientation to the presidency, and it further familiarized them with the opportunities and hazards they will likely face, preparing them to respond to the multiple responsibilities and constituencies of their new role.

The seminar’s 5-day schedule included sessions led by nationally recognized leaders speaking on topics that ranged from fundraising to building the administrative team, focusing on the critical issues of the first months and years of the presidency. Most importantly, the seminar introduced presidents to an extraordinary level of resources and information and an exceptional peer group of colleagues from around the country. It also provided a chance for new presidents to reflect on their own situations and to consult with experts about their special concerns and circumstances.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at SLCC yields success

A new national impact study from Babson College shows that the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program administered in Utah through Salt Lake Community College is among the more successful business education and training programs in the country.

Within 6 months of graduation, Salt Lake business owners who have completed the program outpace the national averages for revenue increases and job growth for their companies.   Program research showed that 70.2 percent of participating businesses in Utah reported an increase in revenue within six months of starting the program, compared to 68% nationally. In that same time period, the report showed that 47.9 percent of business owners added jobs, compared to 46.2% nationally.  In addition, the national impact study shows that 18 months after graduation, 76% of participants reported an increase in their revenues and 57% reported creating net new jobs. Finally, the program has a 99% graduation rate and 84% of graduates are doing some form of business with each other.

“Salt Lake Community College is fortunate to be part of such an impactful program as 10,000 Small Businesses,” said SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin. “The success of the program is evident in the numbers – a quantifiable portrait of a return on investment that reflects well on the local economy and on the state as a whole.”

“Utah's performance numbers reflect the dedication of the local Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program team and key stakeholder partners in our state to providing one of the best environments in the country for growing small businesses,” said Karen Gunn, executive director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at SLCC.

Nationally, the 10,000 Small Businesses program started in 2009 and, with more than 125 partners and affiliate organizations, has helped nearly 5,000 small business owners through 25 in the United States and Great Britain sites and a national blended learning program. A $500 million investment by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation supports the project in partnership with Babson College and the Initiative for A Competitive Inner City.  Local partners in Utah include the State of Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, SLCC, Mountain West Small Business Finance, and the Salt Lake and Utah State Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

SLUG Magazine editor and publisher Angela Brown

Since the program began in Utah in 2013, seven cohorts representing 215 business owners have successfully completed the program.  Recent graduate Angela Brown, editor and publisher of Utah-based SLUG Magazine, said she knew immediately after being accepted as a 10,000 Small Businesses scholar into Cohort 5 that she would “never be the same.” And results soon followed. “Since completing the program, I have overcome my fear of asking for money,” she said at graduation in June. “I’ve taken out a line of credit. I have hired four new fulltime employees and identified a revenue stream that will triple SLUG’s annual revenue over the next three years.”

Brown was one of 93 scholars in three cohorts to graduate from the program in Utah in 2015. Combined, those businesses employ 1,611 people and represent a total of $145 million dollars in annual revenue. Recent graduate Amelia Wilcox, founder and CEO of Incorporate Massage,  has also commented on the program’s ability to help her create strategy to increase her monthly revenue,  hire additional employees, and look at national expansion of her company.  

Incorporate Massage founder and CEO Amelia Wilcox

Local program graduate Jeremy Conder, owner of the Salt Lake City-based screen-printing and design company Spilt Ink, said the program pushed his limits to be able to grow his business and increase revenue. “Since starting the program, Spilt Ink has enjoyed many successes,” Conder said. “We’ve doubled in employee count, now up to eight. To date our revenues are up over 50 percent – that’s over $140,000 in additional sales so far this year. We’ve been able to scale production by creating departments with specific purposes and responsibilities. And we’re currently working on an employee ownership plan to incentivize and secure our future leaders.”

Jeremy Conder, owner of the Salt Lake City-based screen-printing and design company Spilt Ink

Prospective applicants to the program should have between $150,000 and $4 million in revenues, have been in business for at least two years, and have at least four full-time employees.  For more information about the 10,000 Small Businesses program and required qualifications, visit or

Friday, July 17, 2015

SLCC Student Intern Works to Eliminate Hunger Worldwide

SLCC student Shalom Khokhar continues his internship in Washington, D.C., for the nonprofit Bread for the World. The 23-year-old Salt Lake City resident is working hard and learning a lot. Read his update below and check out links to blogs that he wrote for the organization.

I work closely with Chris Ford, the manager of media relations, and Jennifer Gonzalez, the associate online editor for Bread for the World. 

Last week, I compiled a list of news articles and blogs concerning Pope Francis’ encyclical about climate change. I also created a contact list of journalists best suited to receive the press release about the encyclical. 

Bread is a Christian organization whose main mission is to end hunger by 2030, so we are constantly working with Capitol Hill to help resolve and pass laws. I sit in communications board meetings and legislation update meetings every Monday. It's an entirely different world with new vocabulary and rules. I'm learning a lot. 

This week I'm working on updating Bread's current list of about 300 editors, writers, and journalists across the country who receive our press releases. 

I also work on blogs throughout the week and I had a couple posted to the Bread website! Here are the links: 

Lastly, I'm working on a cool story this week that happened recently. There is an organization called Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH). It consists of presidents from 80 universities across six continents who have joined together in an effort to end hunger. On June 17, they had their first operational meeting at the National Press Club here in D.C. The keynote speaker was Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez!

I got in contact with the media relations department at Auburn University, since they are kind of headlining this movement. I was seriously thinking that SLCC could sign with the PUSH movement and join with other universities. It's an awesome cause and could lead to some open doors and opportunities for SLCC administration and students. I can send more information about it if that sounds like a plausible idea!

SLCC Congressional Intern Makes Her Way in Nation's Capital

After two months as an intern in Rep. Mia Love’s office, SLCC student Courtney Jones is finding her way in the nation’s capital. The 22-year-old Taylorsville resident shares a few of her experiences:

I can’t believe how much time has passed already! It doesn’t even seem very long since my last email, but it has been almost a month! Don’t worry though—I have a lot to talk about.  Obviously time is going by so fast because I am having SO. MUCH. FUN.

I have given five Capitol tours. With five interns, the tours are pretty spread out. My first tour was so much fun! The family was so cute and interested in everything—especially the kids! My second tour was horrible. It was to a married couple and the wife was relentless with her questions; I feel like she was just asking arbitrary questions to make me look and feel stupid. My third tour was the best, but I’m a little biased because the tour was to my parents who visited DC this past weekend. I had some friends from China come to D.C. so I gave them a tour and we met a family from Tennessee that we took on a tour because they had given us tickets to go to the top of the Washington Monument!

Thursdays are the best day of the week. One of my roommates works in Mia Love’s office with me and we have become best friends. We have Thursdays off together and are able to do a lot on those days! (Sometimes we use them as rest days or run errands—either way it’s so nice.) We have done Paddle Boats in the Tidal Basin, visited monuments and museums. There’s so much to see and so little time, so we are very grateful for our days off. Being volunteer interns, as opposed to our other roommates (one of which is one of the highest paid interns on the Hill), causes us to look for ways to save money. Sara and I often walk Mt. Vernon Trail, a 4-mile walk to the District, instead of paying $1.95 for the Metro. Although it would be nice to get paid, we have decided that having Thursdays off is completely worth it.

Sightseeing/Museums/Other fun stuff
While my parents were here, I feel like we did almost everything you can do in D.C. and we fit it all into 3 1/2 days! I took them on our trail to see the monuments at night and we were able to see a gorgeous sunset as we crossed the bridge. We went to the Newseum (which had an amazing FBI exhibit and a section of the Berlin Wall), Holocaust museum, National Archives, Smithsonians (Natural History, Portrait Gallery, and American History), The White House, and I gave them a tour of the Capitol. This past weekend, Sara and I went to the top of the Washington Monument and it was INCREDIBLE. The most beautiful view of D.C. by far. On Fridays they do “Jazz in the Gardens” which is live jazz music at the National Sculpture Garden. There’s a huge fountain there that everyone sits around and we all put our feet in. We just walk there after work and it’s such a great way to relax at the end of the week!

Until my parents’ visit, I hadn’t gone out to eat at very many places; I had only been to Carolina Kitchen (AMAZING), Shake Shack (Smokeshack burger is divine), Georgetown Cupcakes, and Good Stuff Eatery for a toasted marshmallow shake. While they were here, we went to Good Stuff Eatery, We the Pizza, Shake Shack, Ted’s Bulletin (Those homemade pop tarts are heavenly), Potbelly’s, and Pinkberry. The food out here is unbelievable!
In the office
• TPA (Trade Promotion Authority). TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance). If I get one more phone call asking the congresswoman to vote “No” on TPA I might explode. Everything in this building revolves around fast track right now. Congress passed TPA last Friday and didn’t pass TAA. Most of the constituents calling in have no idea what they are talking about, so we’ve all had to do some major research in order to get a clear understanding for ourselves. The congresswoman actually explained it to us last Friday. I have so much respect for her. She is just so passionate about what she believes in. As she was talking to us, she got the news about Mark Openshaw’s plane crash, so that was really sad.

• Do you guys know Rich Piatt of KSL? He works with us as Mia’s PR guy. He’s seriously the coolest. We love Rich. Our scheduler quit a couple weeks ago so we had a “going away” party in the office with donuts and cupcakes from Baked and Wired. It was so much fun and the cupcakes were awesome!

• Mia’s kids were here for two weeks and she had us take them around. It was awesome to get to do touristy stuff during work hours. We took them to the Museum of Natural History, Spy Museum, American Indian Museum, and shopping. They were really cute kids and Mia was so cute with them! It was really fun to see her interact with them.

• We love running errands for the staffers! It’s so nice to get out of the office and roam the tunnels. Some of the other offices have dogs and they are SO CUTE. Chaffetz’s office has Utah truffles, but he’s clear over in Rayburn. It’s still worth it to venture over there though.

• The five of us interns just finished writing an Op-ed that’s actually going to be published in the Deseret News about how the congresswoman’s bill (Know Before You Go) will affect us. I attached the final draft to this email! I wrote about SLCC in it so I think it’s worth a read!

• Basically we do a lot of correspondence, answer phones, and book tours. The staffers usually give us projects to do. Mike is having me organize the handouts that he has been getting from all his meetings and edit a letter that an organization wants the congresswoman’s approval on; Stefanie is having me write a general letter on TPP; and Rich had us work on the Op-ed. I feel like every day brings new projects and it’s all just so exciting!

• The other day, Mia had us meet with her in her office and she just talked to us about how much she appreciates us and how our generation and the youth in general is the reason she is here. She just explained how she wants us to gain as much as possible from this experience and said she’s going to be taking us to hearings with her.

I LOVE IT HERE!! I’m going to be so sad to when I have to leave. This experience is absolutely incredible and I am so grateful for the support from you guys and SLCC.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

SLCC Students Win Gold at National SkillsUSA Conference

Salt Lake Community College students brought home four gold medals in the 51st annual SkillsUSA National Skill and Leadership Conference, held this year in Louisville, Kentucky. SLCC had 16 students participate in 11 categories in what is called the country’s largest collegiate job skills competition.

“Our students who competed in SkillsUSA exhibited the highest level of training and education, which reflects well on their experience at Salt Lake Community College,” said Ralph Tasker, SLCC interim associate dean for the Division of Technical Specialties. “We congratulate each of them and the many great faculty members who taught and trained them.”

TeamWorks winning team Seth Johnson (l-r), Jason Groce, Deric Yoakam, and R.J. Beckstead

SLCC won gold medals in web design, 3-D visualization and animation, screen-printing technology and in the “TeamWorks” division and a silver medal in advertising design. The TeamWorks project is four members of a team working together to frame a small structure; lay bricks on the outside; install plumbing pipe, equipment and venting; wire lights, switches, and install a main power panel, all while keeping a clean and safe worksite.  Each phase is inspected similar to a real-life construction project before the team can move to the next phase. Members of the winning team were Jason Groce, R.J. Beckstead, Seth Johnson and Deric Yoakam. More than 6,000 students participated in the weeklong event that began June 22 and included 100 occupational and leadership skill areas.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization’s mission is to help its members become world-class workers, leaders and responsible citizens and it serves more than 300,000 students each year through 53 state and territorial associations.