HCC Forms Export Academy to Help Small Businesses With International Trade

Houston Community College is launching an export academy, which will provide training for small businesses on exporting goods and services. Houston Public Radio Business News Reporter Ed Mayberry tells us the Greater Houston Partnership and the U.S. Department of Commerce are partners.

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The Greater Houston Partnership and HCC believe that Houston is well-positioned to continue to prosper in the global economy, regardless of debates about the process of globalization. HCC Chancellor Dr. Mary Spangler says Houston's economic vitality is inextricably attached to the global economy.

"Houston companies--small, medium and large--are acutely aware of this fact. And despite one's opinion of the process of globalization, the fact is that globalization is here to stay, and competition among companies and countries will only increase in the coming decades. This is something that the college recognizes and is really embracing the idea of global competitiveness, global preparation for our students, who are the students of the future."

The chancellor says the academy will provide coursework in several areas.

"In foreign-market entry strategies, international business plans, customs, exporting licenses, international financing, transportation and global marketing, among other modules. They will be taught by professional practitioners with years of experience in international trade."

Duaine Priestley with the Houston office of the Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce says Houston must stay ahead of the game because of worldwide competition.

"Houston companies are immensely competitive in the global marketplace, not only because of the quality of their goods and services, but also because of its innovativeness. And we want to make sure that we can continue that progress, because as Dr. Spangler noted, it's going to be more competitive as countries like India and Nigeria and Russia further integrate themselves into the global economy. And we want to make sure that Houston's at the forefront of that economic expansion. Because at the end of the day, it's about employing people."

Linnet Deily, who formerly served as U.S. trade representative to the World Trade Organization, now serves on the Greater Houston Partnership's world trade board. She says trade plays a key role in Houston prosperity.

"Just in the last couple of years, the Partnership came out with a new strategic plan on behalf of the region, and within that there were four visions. And one of the four visions was that Houston would serve as a gateway to global markets. So clearly, having something like the export academy, which can help build the expertise, we think would be very essential to us being able to fulfill that vision that we see."

HCC's export academy begins classes in November. Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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