Terra State awarded USDA Rural Business Development grant

Terra State Community College has been awarded the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Business Development grant for $149,500.

The College will be using the funds to provide a one-stop call center located in The Kern Center that will connect and provide resources to small businesses in Sandusky, Ottawa, Seneca, Erie and Huron Counties. The call center will work with partnered agencies to identify the needs, answer any questions and ensure they are provided with the best resources. Additionally, free training will be offered on a continual basis and held in each of the three counties. These trainings will consist of many topics, including but not limited to computer/technology, finance, human resources, leadership, taxes, Ohio Business Gateway navigation, business development, insurance, marketing and more. Lastly, small business owners will have the opportunity to be mentored by successful business owners, where they can receive regular feedback and guidance when needed. 

“Terra State Community College is thankful to the United States Department of Agriculture for awarding these funds to help better support the community in our service district. We are also grateful to all of our economic development partners that helped us secure this grant. Looking ahead, we are excited that the call center will provide and connect individuals with the resources, training and mentoring they need for their businesses to succeed,” said Dr. Ronald Schumacher, president of Terra State. “I am also pleased to introduce Carolyn Rodenhauser as the Business Resource Manager.”

A native to the greater Toledo area, Rodenhauser brings over 22 years of knowledge and experience as she starts her new role. She has worked across the northwest Ohio region in many positions that highlight her passion and strengths for economic and workforce development. Formerly, she worked as the business and workforce development manager for the Ottawa County Improvement Corporation, the regional talent acquisition director at the Regional Growth Partnership and the workforce development administrator for Hancock, Wood and Wyandot Counties with Ohio Means Jobs. Rodenhauser also understands what it means to own a small business, as she has been the co-owner of the Clinton House in Port Clinton, Ohio, for over eight years.

Rodenhauser said, “We are extremely grateful to have received this USDA grant to assist with further small business growth in our multi-county region. The College has always supported small businesses, but this grant will allow us to streamline referrals to our business development partners by connecting them with resources, training and mentors through our one-stop small business center. Starting a business can be overwhelming, but this new resource center will help effectively and efficiently improve our processes moving ahead. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with economic, workforce, chambers of commerce and state, local and federal resources to help all of our regional small businesses.”

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about your own small business, contact Carolyn Rodenhauser at crodenh01@terra.edu.