For the past decade, Southern State Community College has maintained a strong presence in Adams County through the SSCC Enterprise Center in Winchester.
Now that plans are underway for the new SSCC Adams County Campus in West Union, the needs served by the Enterprise Center will transition to the future SSCC campus. The Enterprise Center officially closed Dec. 22 of last year.
From the center’s beginning, one man has been at the helm – Enterprise Center Coordinator Russ Brewer, who announced his retirement in tandem with the center’s closing.
“We join Russ’ colleagues, customers and partnerships in wishing him the best during his well-earned retirement,” said John Joy, SSCC dean of workforce development. “Russ has provided the residents of Adams County and the region with valuable training and support services for many years.”
In 2006, Brewer was hired to serve as coordinator for what was then known as the Adams County Business Training Center located in a building at the Adams County Airport. He provided free-of-charge business start-up and consulting with the primary focus on Adams County.
Later that year, the center was awarded an Appalachian Training Investment Program Grant to support small business and to start entrepreneurial training at Southern State. Brewer developed an entrepreneurship degree program.
In 2007, the office was rebranded as the Enterprise Center and moved to the Tri-County Business Development Center in Winchester.
Brewer was instrumental in a number of projects that positively impacted workforce and small business development. During his tenure, Brewer:
• Began the Get Connected resource initiative with the Chambers of Commerce of Adams, Brown, Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties;
• Arranged for more affordable, accessible training to water and wastewater treatment plant operators by offering EPA-approved recertification classes in 15 counties;
• Partnered with Southern Ohio Educational Service Center to facilitate the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Summer Camps for youngsters in the Wilmington and Hillsboro region; and
• Provided business advising for 221 clients (124 preventure, 22 start-up, and 75 existing); and forged four formal and 17 informal working partnerships.
Brewer is a member of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, as well as the Ohio Continuing Higher Education Association where he served on the state board of directors 2015-17.
Submitted by Kris Cross, director of public relations, Southern State Community College.