California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Gains White House Award for Export Services
Centers for International Trade Development program recognized for increasing U.S. exports
SACRAMENTO – The White House today conferred the president’s top award for export services to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Centers for International Trade Development, recognizing the system’s contributions to the increase of U.S. exports.
The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration manages the award program and presented the award in Washington, D.C. to California Community Colleges Board of Governors member Dr. Debbie Malumed and Jeff Williamson, the system’s statewide director of the Centers of International Trade Development.
There are nine Centers for International Trade Development across the state—including a center at Southwestern College—that assists thousands of companies each year in conducting international business. The free or low-cost programs and services include one-on-one technical assistance and consulting, market research, training and educational programs, trade leads and access to special events. The centers are supported by grants through the Chancellor’s Office’s Workforce and Economic Development division. Those investments power California’s economy and its global competitiveness through industry-specific education, training and services that contribute to a highly skilled and productive workforce.
“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,” Chancellor Brice W. Harris said. “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.”
The Presidential “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, to recognize persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing United States exports. The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration seeks to improve the global business environment and help U.S. firms to compete worldwide. It manages the award program that has recognized more than 2,500 firms since its inception.
The “E” Award is the highest U.S. government recognition any American entity may receive for supporting export activity.
“This award recognizes our work over the last several years,” said Williamson, who oversees the CITDs from his office at the Riverside Community College District. “One in every four manufacturing jobs in California is dependent upon exports, which combined with service and related industries support an estimated 1.2 million jobs in the state. So making sure we help those companies is very important to the economy.”
U.S. exports hit an all-time record of $2.2 trillion in 2012, and supported nearly 10 million American jobs. President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and support an additional 2 million jobs in the United States, is opening new avenues for U.S. exporters through enhanced export assistance and a strengthened trade agenda that is targeting emerging markets and industry sectors across the globe.
“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. “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.”
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GoBiz) and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office’s Centers for International Trade Development have worked in partnership since the establishment of GoBIZ, Williamson said. GoBIZ and the California Community College CITDs work collaboratively on export promotion activities as well as responding to small business export inquiries and needs, which helps to increase exports and support good-paying jobs.
“The California Community Colleges CITDs have been a valued partner for GoBIZ in implementing its global trade agenda, particularly in supporting small businesses to expand globally,” said GoBiz Director Kish Rajan. “We congratulate them on this national award and look forward to many years of continued mutual support.”
Another partnership that helped earn the Centers for International Trade Development the national award was with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Much of the exported products from California are in the agricultural sector, Williamson said, and the CITDs and the department work closely to get those ag products to overseas destinations.
The Foothill-DeAnza Community College District won an award for excellence in exports for its international education program. The district began its international education program almost 25 years ago to foster global understanding and build international relationships. The program has students from more than 70 countries.