Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Mt. Hood Community College consulting arm eventually will move to Rockwood Rising location

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 an interim director and also 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 the SBDC's interim director Ruth Swain.

Swain 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 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 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. The 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.

Upcoming classes

The Mt. Hood Community College Small Business Development Center offers a variety of classes to help business managers. Classes take place in Room GE201 adjacent to the Aquatic Center at the MHCC Campus, 26000 S.E. Stark St. Visit the web page:, call 503-491-7658 for more information.

Meet your SBDC

10-11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7


Learn more about what the MHCC Small Business Development Center can do for you and your business.

QuickBooks Bootcamp: 1

9 a.m to noon, Tuesday and Thursday, Aug. 13 and 15

$180, materials included

Get up to speed on using QuickBooks and customize it for the needs of your business.

QuickBooks Bootcamp: 2

9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday and Thursday, Aug. 20 and 22

$180, materials included

Learn to manage business transactions.

Start Smart

10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Sept. 10


Get the fundamentals of starting a business from scratch and managing the early stages of its development.

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