The California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) program has been presented with the President’s top award for export services — the “E” award — in recognition of the system’s ongoing contributions to the increase of U.S. exports.
Created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to recognize persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing United States exports, the “E” Award is the highest U.S. government recognition any American entity may receive for supporting export activity. The award program is managed by the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.
“I am delighted to be recognizing this year’s Presidential ‘E’ Award winners for their outstanding contributions to U.S. exports and congratulate the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Centers for International Trade Development on its outstanding export achievement,” said U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank in a statement. “It is programs such as the CITD that are strengthening the economies of local communities, creating jobs, and contributing to the worldwide demand for ‘Made in the USA’ goods and services.”
Currently, there are nine CITD offices located across the state, including the center co-located with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) inside the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons.
California CITDs provide a full range free and low cost trade assistance services — including one-on-one technical assistance and consulting, market research, training and educational programs, trade leads and access to special events — to both companies and individuals looking to expand their international business presence.
The centers are supported by grants from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Workforce and Economic Development division, which help to power California's economy and grow its global competitiveness.
“The Center for International Trade Development has been a big part of our workforce training focus for two decades and we’re proud of what we have accomplished over that time,” said Chancellor Brice W. Harris in a statement. “We know that helping businesses get their products to foreign markets means providing them with training and access to funds. I believe we provide that service better than anyone.”
Since receiving its designation in 2012, the CITD at College of the Canyons has focused its efforts on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs progress through the various stages of export/import trade development needed to see their businesses grow and succeed.
“This award is a great recognition of our efforts, and we are proud to receive it,” said COC Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. “We are equally proud of what we have enabled our clients to accomplish, and the successes they have achieved validate the benefits and importance of the CITD program.”
The CITD at COC routinely hosts an eight-part workshop series featuring expert speakers, from a wide variety of export disciplines, geared to help businesses grow their exports. More than 332 companies and entrepreneurs have attended these workshops, and more than 40 companies have engaged with the CITD in one-on-one consulting sessions designed to help them start and grow the export side of their business.
“We are acutely aware of the need to help our small business clients grow sales,” said SBDC Director Steve Tannehill who also oversees the CITD. “Being a part of the award-winning CITD network provides us with a wealth of resources needed to help our small business clients start or expand their sales to international markets.”