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SBA Pledges $250,000 for MiraCosta College to Establish Veterans Business Outreach Center

The U.S. Small Business Administration has pledged $250,000 to establish a Veterans Business Outreach Center at MiraCosta College’s Technology Career Institute in Carlsbad.

The center, charged with helping veterans and military members from San Diego to Santa Barbara with self-employment or entrepreneurship, will become the first of its kind in Southern California.

“We at MiraCosta College feel a deep sense of gratitude for the service of our veterans and have long been committed to providing veterans and active-duty military with the services they need and deserve in transitioning back to civilian life,” said Sunita “Sunny” Cooke, the college’s superintendent and president, in a statement. “And we are grateful for the opportunity to build on that success through the new Veterans Business Outreach Center.”

The nearest such center today is in Sacramento.

The grant was one of six awarded May 17 by the federal agency’s Office of Veterans Business Development to higher education systems from Rhode Island to Hawaii.

The sites were selected to received portions of the $1.5 million in grant money based in part on demand for the federal agency’s Boots to Business program, an entrepreneurship training program.

MiraCosta, through the center, will work to bolster participation in those training programs at a number of bases, including Camp Pendleton and Twenty-Nine Palms, according to the statement.

Nationwide, Veterans Business Outreach Centers help about 60,000 veterans annually. Employees at the centers put on workshops about self-employment, provide entrepreneurial training and counseling, and assist in developing business plans.

San Diego County is home to more than 240,000 veterans, nearly 90,000 Navy personnel, 35,000 Marine Corps personnel and 22,500 Department of Defense civilian personnel. About 10 percent of students at MiraCosta are service members, military dependents and veterans.

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