Heartland Community College is implementing an economic growth plan for businesses owned by females, minorities and persons with disabilities. This is designed to meet guidelines set by the state's Business Enterprise Program. Heartland Vice President Business Services Doug Minter said the real challenge lies in assuring groups are properly qualified.
"The state criteria for identifying businesses that qualify is rater stringent, so the fact that a business is minority owned, female owned, or disability owned, that in itself doesn't qualify the business" said Minter.
Minter says businesses need to register with the business enterprise council through the central management services in the state. Once they do that, then the business and institution can fully benefit when they collaborate.
The college's student business organization also ranked in the top ten at their national conference. Phi Beta Lambda members organized a blood drive at Heartland Pontiac Center in March. The service project earned them tenth place in the nation. Heartland President Rob Widmer said their success is a point of pride for the college.
"They have competed at a state and national level and placed very high in that competition against students from colleges and universities across the country, and certainly a feather in their cap and a strong reflection of Heartland and faculty an staff here at the college" said Widmer.
Phi Beta Lambda members took home ten first and second place awards. The organization helps students receive leadership training and networking opportunities for their future.