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you need to add to your skills inventory?
you the professional who is now running the business and needs to
develop business or management skills?
you interested in starting your own business?
Odessa College offers you MORE .
The opportunity to be more, have more, gain
OC offers a wide array of technical
programs matched to your ambition and goals — matched to the needs of
the local community — delivered by faculty who have years of experience
in the field.
The contemporary workplace requires
additional skills. In the technology oriented environment of today you
may find yourself working not only at your office or work site, but also
in your car, home, or even at the local coffee shop.
We provide the means to your continued
success by offering skills training and development to help you do
more, know more, and profit more.
Join the ranks of those who have furthered their careers
by adding to their technical skills. Call 335-6419 today to find out how
Odessa College can help you be MORE.
BY JOCELYN FOSTER
July 16, 2008 - 10:07AM
When the fall semester starts, Odessa
College plans to expand on a 25-year tradition.
OC has long offered a Small Business
Management Course. Working on an informal hunch, the college will grow
that into a complete program.
"We noticed a lot of people in the
Permian Basin region are either taking over small family businesses, or
they want to start one of their own," instructor Connie Nichols said.
Financial management and office
management are just a few of the classes that Odessa College plans to
Colorado native Austin Walhert, 19, came
to OC on a rodeo scholarship. He said he likes the fact that OC has a
strong athletics and rodeo department, but that isn't the only reason
he's here. He also wants business credits to go toward his marketing
On the side he runs a small leather
business where he makes and designs belts, Bibles, day planner holders,
halters and other small-end leather products.
"Everything's strictly custom-made,"
He started his business as a junior in
high school. Last year, he took the small business management class at
OC and realized how much Sue Jones and Connie Nichols had to offer.
"They've taught me through their own
experiences in life," Walhert said.
Nichols has been teaching the Small
Business Management course at OC for 23 years. A native Odessan, she got
her business management degree at Texas Tech University before returning
to Odessa. In her career, she's helped run her family business and other
Jones and Nichols worked together
to push the project forward, but it wasn't hard to persuade the
curriculum committee and the Community Advisory Board.
They put together a curriculum, developed
a course manual and plan to launch the program in the fall.
Nichols said the program isn't just about
running small businesses - it's also about life skills.
"The more an individual employee has an
understanding about a business, then it makes them a better steward of a
city," Nichols said.
"We're trying to make better stewards of
our students," she said. "If people are stronger, then businesses are
She hopes that this new program will help
teach people how to access resources available to them in all aspects of
Walhert said that's exactly what the
business classes taught him. From Nichols' life experience, she has an
inventory of case studies and scenarios to offer her students. Walhert
said he applies those lessons to his leather business regularly.
"It helped me learn how to manage my
resources," he said. "I'm able to get the most out of them I can."
>> The Small Business Management
Course will be offered as a two-year
associate's degree with 23 core classes and 68 total.
>> Already have a degree?
Just want to learn management skills? Students can come back for a
certification that offers specific business basics. This one-year
program requires 31 credit hours.
Friday, 11 February 2005
T&C official speaks to OC students
Merchandise manager outlines company’s marketing strategy
By Ginger Pope
Gasoline with a side of salad could be a new twist in the latest
competitive market of convenience stores, Odessa College students were
Tom Blase, risk and benefits director, and Nick Ramos, merchandise
manager, for Town & Country spoke to OC business students at the college
Thursday. They gave a firsthand account of the competitive challenges in
To give the company an edge, Ramos said, the company is considering
what healthier food sale options they have, including salads.
“We’re facing an industry of highly competitive convenience stores —
there’s one on almost every corner,” he said. “We have to figure out how
to change to meet the consumer needs.”
Student Cody Dennis, who is working toward a management certificate,
said hearing about Town & Country’s experiences will help him later on.
“I would like to open a convenience store — that’s something I
thought about before today,” Dennis said.
Dennis said hearing how Town & Country markets to customers was
Ramos talked about how the company has to battle against the larger
retail stores, who now have gasoline pumps, and the new corner
drugstores, like Walgreen’s that are offering more single-serving food
Jami Elledge, who is pursuing certifications in small business
operations and general management, said she was so interested in the
lecture that she got a business card.
“I want to look into the store manager program,” Elledge said. “My
ultimate goal is to set up my own mechanic shop, and I think that could
Blase said Town & Country is looking for people like those in the OC
business classes to work for them. He said store managers need some
business background and at least a 2.5 grade-point average.
Salaries for store managers, with an associate’s degree, can range
from $40,000 to $60,000, Blase said. For district manager, who may
manage several stores, the salary range is from $40,000 to $80,000.
And like the radio commercials say, Town & Country employees have the
option to buy company stock, he said.
Connie Nichols, OC business teacher, said bringing in professionals
to classes makes the class material more real to the students.
“It gives them a chance to get a taste,” Nichols said. “They think
‘this might be important or I need to learn this.’ ”
Town & Country headquarters are in San Angelo. The company began in
1965 and has a total of 143 stores, including eight in Odessa.