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SPRINGFIELD — The Hispanic American Institute, in partnership with Springfield Technical Community College, will offer two free courses to support Latino and minority entrepreneurs in Springfield by providing education and tools which will help them achieve economic prosperity. 

The two courses are “English for Entrepreneurs,” starting today and “Basic Computer Skills Classes,” starting April 26.  STCC’s Workforce Development Center will offer the two courses for HAI. Learn more about the classes at stcc.edu/wdc. 

Courses are open to Springfield residents or any entrepreneur who has a business in Springfield or wants to start a business in Springfield. Courses are taught in English, but translation in Spanish will be available as needed. 

The Boston office of the Hispanic American Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting social, educational, and economic development in Hispanic communities in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America, will provide funding for the courses. 

As part of this Springfield project, the Hispanic American Institute will provide bilingual and culturally competent business technical assistance to minority-owned businesses. The goal is to increase revenues, create and retain jobs, and help start new businesses. The Hispanic American Institute has recently opened a local office at 1350 Main St., Suite 1508, in Springfield. 

“We were inspired to create a holistic approach to supporting immigrants, particularly Latino entrepreneurs, in Springfield by providing educational courses and one-on-one business coaching,” said John Perez, consulting project manager for the Hispanic American Institute.  

“We know lack of English language proficiency is a barrier to economic prosperity,” he added. “Further, lack of computer skills further inhibits access to knowledge and opportunities to start and manage a business successfully. Through this collaboration and the courses being offered, we hope to address all these issues and open opportunities for the participants.” 

STCC, which has a technical focus in all of its programs, is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. That means at least 25% of the full-time equivalent students are Hispanic and the college is eligible for grants to benefit all students.   

About the courses: 

English for Entrepreneurs: This course, taught virtually via Zoom, is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs and adults. Participants will learn English in the context of managing a business. Vocabulary will cover marketing, management, accounting and legal terms frequently used in casual conversations. As part of this class, participants will be asked to create a business pitch.  

Prior to starting the course, STCC will assess each participant to place them at the correct level. The course runs for 10 weeks. Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. April 25 through June 29. 

Basic Computer Skills Classes: This in-person course is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs and adults. Participants will develop basic computer skills for office work, as well as for the effective management of a business. Students will participate in activities to learn: Google Documents, Google Sheets basics (spreadsheets), efficient use of the internet, Google Slides basics, efficient use of electronic communications (e-mail), and file management and storage in Google Drive.  

There will be two cohorts. The first cohort will start April 26 and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at STCC. The course will run 5 weeks (last class May 26). The second cohort will start on May 31 and end on June 30. 

For more information, contact the Workforce Development Center at STCC. Visit the office at Building 27, second floor. Call (413) 755-4225 or email [email protected]. 

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