MiraCosta College has been awarded a $510,000 grant renewal from the U.S. Small Business Administration to expand operations of the SoCal Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) located at the college’s Technology Career Institute in Carlsbad.
“This funding is critical in allowing us to continue our mission of serving transitioning service members, veterans of all eras, the National Guard, reserve, and military-connected family members who want to start a small business or grow an existing business,” said Hazel Beck, director of the SoCal VBOC.
The SoCal VBOC, one of just 22 VBOCs across the country, serves an area stretching from the Mexican border north to Vandenberg Air Force Base and east to Arizona.
The SoCal VBOC works with three Small Business Administration district offices (San Diego, Orange County/Inland Empire and Los Angeles) to deliver its primary mission—the delivery of the agency’s Boots to Business program—at 10 military bases throughout its service area. Boots to Business is a two-day entrepreneurial education and training program offered as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. It introduces the concepts and skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur to transitioning service members and explores strategies, economics, legal structure, financing, business planning, and more.
More than nine percent of all small businesses in the U.S. are owned by veterans and, as of January 2020, the number of annual Southern California Boots to Business events has jumped from 58 to 90.
The same curriculum is also delivered off-base as a one-day event called Boots to Business/Reboot for veterans of all eras, the National Guard, reserve, and military-connected family members. The Reboot class is now offered online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MiraCosta College’s SoCal VBOC opened in July 2016 and services have grown steadily since. This is by far the largest annual grant the college has received for the expanding program.
The VBOC underscores MiraCosta College’s connection with the military community. MiraCosta serves almost 3,500 students who are veterans, active-duty personnel, or military dependents, and is in the process of constructing a new 1,424 square-foot Veterans Center that will be housed in a new Student Services Building at the Oceanside Campus.
“You couldn’t ask for a better host for a VBOC than MiraCosta College because of the large number of veterans and military-related students on campus,” said Beck, a former business owner who enlisted in the Navy and served stateside during the Vietnam War.
Anyone interested in learning about the SoCal VBOC can visit SoCalVBOC.org for more information.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: