Tri-City Cougs and Hawks are teaming up like never before, and we are excited to see what possibilities this new partnership will bring to the community.
Washington State University Tri-Cities and Columbia Basin College hired new leaders this past year, and they have forged an alliance the likes of which we can’t recall seeing in the past.
Rebekah Woods took over at CBC last November, while Sandra Haynes started her new job at WSU Tri-Cities in March. The two have been meeting regularly at least once a month to discuss ways the two campuses can work better together.
This is an extremely healthy development.
The two schools have cooperated on specific programs over the years, but a consistent effort to collaborate is new. It takes a different attitude and commitment.
And already their talks appear to be paying off.
The Tri-Cities’ Small Business and Development Center has been dormant for a couple of years since its former advisor retired.
Now, thanks in part to the work of Haynes and Woods, WSU Tri-Cities and CBC are bringing the local program back to life.
The center will be housed in an office provided by the Tri-City Development Council in Kennewick, like it had been in the past, but both schools have pledged a commitment to its operations, according to Carl Adrian, TRIDEC president.
He said he agrees “100 percent” that the partnership between Haynes and Woods will be a benefit to the community.
In the past, the Small Business and Development Center had been run at times by CBC and other times by WSU-Tri-Cities. But after former advisor Bruce Davis retired two years ago, the program fell through the cracks.
The SBDC network is administered by colleges, universities and state governments across the country. It provides free management and technical assistance to small business owners, and helps them with writing business plans, acquiring capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, international trade and other issues.
In the absence of a local SBDC, Tri-Citians looking for business advice were directed to the office in Walla Walla. That won’t have to be the case anymore.
While a firm date has not yet been set for opening the local SBDC, expectations are that it should be soon.
WSU-Tri-Cities begins fall classes on Aug. 20. CBC will start its fall quarter on Sept. 17.
While this will be the inaugural class for both college presidents, they already appear to have fully embraced their leadership roles in the community – and that’s an encouraging sign.