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January 24, 2020

Morgan Community College Receives Grant for Multicultural Entrepreneur Program

This funding, distributed over three years, will allow MCC to launch a Multicultural Entrepreneur Program referred to as the Morgan County Cultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (MCCEI).

Fort Morgan, CO 1/24/2020. Morgan Community College (MCC) received grant funding from The Colorado Health Foundation in the amount of $614,418. This funding, distributed over three years, will allow MCC to launch a Multicultural Entrepreneur Program referred to as the Morgan County Cultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (MCCEI). 

The Initiative was developed collaboratively with community and regional partners who identified a need to provide support for Spanish- and Somali-speaking individuals interested in opening or expanding their businesses, but who may have barriers around language that prevent them from accessing education or community supports necessary to help them achieve success.

The Foundation funding allows MCC to hire two new faculty members that will provide individual and group instruction to Spanish- and Somali-speaking students as a way of eliminating the language barrier to educational attainment and business resources.  The faculty will be located at MCC’s 300 Main Street facility in Fort Morgan, Colorado, providing easy access to students and the community.

In addition to providing faculty support, funding will help supplement tuition for non-English speaking students who are interested in starting or developing a business. The Multicultural Entrepreneurship Program will focus on one-year certificates based on the immediate needs of the student, including Rural Business Entrepreneurship, Financial Analysis, Market Plan Development, Records & Business Planning, Advanced Business Management, and Leadership/Human Resources Management. Each certificate requires six courses, which provide 18 credit hours of instruction at MCC.

Funding will also be provided to community resources such as OneMorgan County to offer training about cultural responsiveness to community agencies.  Other organizations will provide translation support, referrals, and resources to students and other non-English speaking entrepreneurs.

“We know that so many people dream of owning their own businesses, and the process and steps to be successful are challenging if language is a barrier,” said MCC President Dr. Curt Freed.  “The Multicultural Entrepreneurship Program was developed to meet students where they are, remove those language barriers, and help promote individual success and regional economic development.  We are so appreciative of the Foundation for providing the funding for this important program.”

Collaborative partners that helped develop the program include Morgan County Economic Development Corporation, OneMorgan County, Fort Morgan Cultures United for Progress, International Association for Refugees, Eastern Region Workforce Center, Small Business Development Council, Fort Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Fort Morgan, Civic Canopy, DreamSpring and Colorado State University. 

Students interested in enrolling in the program can contact one of three MCC staff, depending on the language support needed:

English – Leah Thomas, Faculty and Program Coordinator;
Leah.Thomas@MorganCC.edu or (970) 542-3260

Spanish – Maria Cardenas, Director of Admissions and Advising; Maria.Cardenas@MorganCC.edu or (970) 542-3169

Somali – Mohamed Mohamed, College Recruiter and Success Coach; Mohamed.Mohamed@MorganCC.edu or (970) 542-3162.

For more information about Morgan Community College, visit www.morgancc.edu or call 970-542-3100. For more information about the Spanish and Somali faculty positions, visit https://morgancc.applicantpro.com/jobs/ or contact the MCC Human Resources Department.

About the Colorado Health Foundation:

The Colorado Health Foundation is bringing health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging closely with communities across the state through investing, policy advocacy, learning and capacity building. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.