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The consulting arm of Mt. Hood Community College consulting will move to Rockwood Rising

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Ruth Swain, the interim director of the Mt. Hood Community College Small Business Development Center unpacks the last box in her temporary offices on the college campus.

The Mt. Hood Community College Small Business Development Center has just named Ruth Swain as its interim director. It is in interim digs on campus until it can move into its new quarters in the Rockwood Rising project that is under construction.

"I love start-ups," says Swain. She has had her own business consulting practice for two dozen years. She helped start Northwest Public Broadcasting in Pullman, Washington and worked on the founding of the Tri-Cities Cancer Center in Kennewick, Washington, among many projects.

"I'm honored. It is a true honor to serve as interim director," the Barlow High School graduate says.

She's also a graduate of Eastern Washington University, Cheney, and Portland's Heritage School of Interior Design.

The Mt. Hood Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC) supports entrepreneurs and operators of small businesses with buying or creating, growing and running successful businesses.

It also offers help to those interested in buying a franchise.

"Franchise used to be just French fries," Swain says, but added that there are many kinds of businesses available for those interested in franchises.

The SBDC offers multiple services, including confidential one-on-one advising, online training, workshops and classes. It can help businesses with the regulatory requirements connected with buying or beginning a business.

The services are offered to established businesses or people working to start or buy a company and no connection to the college is necessary.

The Mt. Hood SBDC also has a particular expertise in helping businesses with cybersecurity because it trains students from the college's highly-regarded cybersecurity program as advisors to help businesses.

Oregon's Small Business Development Network was formed in 1983 as part of a national effort. Oregon's system is a partnership between 17 community colleges, two universities, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Oregon Business Development Department.

Swain has been connected to the Gresham SBDC for two years, increasing her role as the center needed.

She plans to apply for the job as permanent director of the center.

Swain replaces Kedma Ough, who left to become vice president of business coaching at Portland-based Automate Grow Sell.


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