Duquesne SBDC gets funding via CARES Act

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Here's how the money will be put to work to help small businesses deal with Covid-19 related challenges.

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

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On an average day, Trina Worrell Benjamin handles invoices, returns calls and emails, directs a team of nearly a dozen employees and manages a client roster that has included big names like Rite Aid and Toys“R”Us. She admits her first steps into entrepreneurship were not easy. But with the help of…

Local entrepreneur gets a boost from Small Business Development Center

  • SBDC: Temple University SBDC
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Pennsylvania SBDC Celebrates Manufacturing Week with Statewide Series of Events

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The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) are hosting four events during Pennsylvania Manufacturing Week, October 1-7, 2016.  The events are part of a nationwide effort to change perceptions of manufacturing today, draw attention to career opportunities available in a variety of sectors, and educate the public on the significant impact manufacturing has on the economy.  Currently, more than 70 events are being hosted in Pennsylvania as part of the celebration.

Local Manufacturing Week celebrations hosted by the Pennsylvania SBDC network include:

Clarion University SBDC Presents: OSHA Compliance and Frequently Asked Questions
October 3, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
2219 Bee Line Hwy., DuBois, PA 15801
Cost: $20

If OSHA were to show up at your door today, would you be prepared for an inspection? Are you certain that you are doing everything possible to minimize workplace accidents and injuries? If you are unsure or answered ‘no’ to either of these questions, this seminar is for you! Speaker, Mark Harmon, will provide answers to your compliance questions and will discuss recent changes to OSHA’s record-keeping rule. Topics to be covered include: OSHA’s record-keeping rule – what has changed?; help for employers - how to comply, go beyond compliance, and improve your bottom line; and compliance-related frequently asked questions.

Penn State SBDC Presents: From Food Innovation to Food Processing: Tour of Oats Greens & Sweets Community Kitchen
October 3, 2016 | 2:00 p.m.
Old Gregg School Community Center
106 School St., Spring Mills, PA 16875

Penn State SBDC staff and guests will tour the new commercial kitchen in central Pennsylvania where food innovation ideas can be developed and scaled. In 2015, 5 percent of Penn State SBDC’s 495 entrepreneurs and small businesses that they assisted in Centre and Mifflin counties were agriculture-related and 11 percent were manufacturing-related.

Duquesne University SBDC Presents: Export Basics
October 5, 2016 | 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Cost: $49

This course is designed to meet the needs of:

  • Manufacturers and technology companies seeking to initiate export programs
  • Employees within exporting companies who need a basic knowledge of exporting
  • Service firms seeking to improve their understanding of globalization

Course topics include:

  • Recognizing and identifying export opportunities
  • Shipping and payment
  • Legal and regulatory aspects of exporting
  • Sources of information and assistance
  • Cultural issues

Bucknell University SBDC Presents: Making Young Makers: Grand Opening of a MakerSpace
October 5, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
90 Lawton Ln., Milton, PA 17847

The Bucknell University SBDC invites members of the community to celebrate the Grand Opening of a MakerSpace in Milton, PA. This event will be:

  1. Recognizing the importance of the Maker Movement in education to the future of the nation’s manufacturing industry;
  2. Celebrating startup firm MakerEDU's collaboration with CSIU to create a MakerSpace that will inspire student makers and enable teachers to bring these tools to their schools;
  3. Describing MakerEDU co-founders Diego Aldan & Uttam Kumaran's pathway from engineering students to entrepreneurs; as aided by Bucknell’s SBDC; and
  4. Featuring hand-on demonstrations of 3D printers and other tools of the Maker Movement  

For a full list of Manufacturing Week events across the state, visit
Pennsylvania has a deep history and rich legacy in manufacturing – it has long been the foundation for the state’s economy. Today, manufacturing has an $85 billion impact on Pennsylvania’s economy and is the 8th largest output in the United States. Manufacturing also employs over a half million workers in Pennsylvania, from a highly skilled labor force of more than 6.5 million, educated at nearly 300 educational institutions across the state.  

In the past 15 years (2000-2015), the Pennsylvania SBDC network has contributed to the success of Pennsylvania’s manufacturers through the following:

  • Provided assistance to 12,426 manufacturing clients across Pennsylvania
  • Worked with manufacturers in 571,465 consulting hours
  • Helped manufacturers achieve the following business milestones:
    • 1,977 Business plans completed
    • 1,751 Bought, started or expanded a business

Helped manufacturers achieve the following economic impact:

  • Total Investments: $899,150,739 (Loans, grants, equity, venture, line of credit, owner investment)
    • Gross sales: $17,201,694,078
    • Export sales: $2,209,641,353

A few recent Pennsylvania manufacturing success stories include:

X Material Processing (State College, PA) – Matt Woods, a Penn State mechanical engineering student made his direct metal 3D printing business a reality with help from the Penn State SBDC.

Quality Mould, Inc. (Latrobe, PA) – Owners DJ and Jamie Danko approached the St. Vincent College SBDC for business planning and financial assistance to purchase a larger manufacturing facility to accommodate increased demand, and are now operating from a new 33,000 square foot manufacturing site.

Holloway Seating (Freeport, PA) – Owner Jason Holloway worked with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania SBDC to create a business plan and obtain bank financing to vertically integrate and establish his own production facility, resulting in construction of a new space to grow production.

AC Power Tech (Belle Vernon, PA) – After exhibiting at the Conexpo Show in Chile with the Duquesne University SBDC, owner Jeremy Wallace has seen an increase in potential orders from Latin America for their high electric power systems for underground mines.

Erie Ale Works (Erie, PA) – Working with the Gannon University SBDC, owner Jeff McCullor was able to secure additional funding to expand their production capacity, which has allowed for a 20 percent increase year over year.

The Pennsylvania SBDC helps makers of all products, from fabricated metal to furniture to food.  Pennsylvania businesses can receive no-fee, confidential assistance with business planning; market research; identifying potential funding options to start or grow your business; finding new markets locally, internationally, online, or within the government; product development planning & commercialization; understanding environmental regulatory requirements; business continuity planning; and succession planning.

To find your local SBDC, visit