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JFK University Signs Cooperative Agreement with Contra Costa Small Business Development Center

October 12, 2010

  • Agreement will allow for effective use of combined resources to support entrepreneurial growth and new job creation in Contra Costa County
  • Initiatives to be led by the University's Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. – John F. Kennedy University, an affiliate of the National University System, and the Contra Costa Business Development Center (CC-SBDC) have signed a cooperative agreement to coordinate joint initiatives to support job creation and entrepreneurial growth in Contra Costa County, Dr. Steven Stargardter, President of JFK University, and Beverly Hamile, Director of the CC-SBDC, announced today.

The initiatives under the agreement will be led by both the newly created Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) at John F. Kennedy University and the CC-SBDC. Dr. Raul Deju is the Director of IEL, which will house the core activities for entrepreneurship education across the University and support the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program, professional training certificates, and industry outreach.

The joint initiatives with CC-SBDC will allow both organizations to better tap their resources in the business and government communities and to work together in a number of functions involving training and counseling of new entrepreneurs.  The goal of these initiatives are to help new businesses better succeed in their start-up, leading to growth of the entrepreneurial force of job creation within Contra Costa County.

JFK University brings an extensive experience in training new entrepreneurs as well as business and finance specialists and the CC-SBDC has outreach and training programs for budding entrepreneurs and the agencies that can assist them. Together, JFK University and CC-SBDC will be able to reach more entrepreneurs and increase their ability to succeed making them and Contra Costa County beneficiaries of new job and new business creation.

“This cooperative agreement will make better use of the resources at JFK University to help promote entrepreneurship within Contra Costa County and expand our ability to train and grow our students,” said President Stargardter.

“We are aligned on the importance that this cooperative agreement will have toward training future entrepreneurs and the economic impact it will bring as they grow their businesses in our County,” added CC-SBDC Director Hamile.

About John F. Kennedy University
Founded in 1964, John F. Kennedy University, an affiliate of the National University System, was among the first institutions of higher education in California committed to lifelong learning for adults. Today, the University’s three Colleges and Continuing Education division provide innovative higher education opportunities to more than 2,000 professionals who, despite a full range of life responsibilities, are determined to advance their education and improve their future. The Continuing Education division provides professional development education to more than 2,500 individuals per year. A pioneer of education that integrates theory and practice, John F. Kennedy University and its students touch the lives of more than 30,000 people in Bay Area communities every year through their support of outreach centers and public programs. For more information, visit

About the National University System
The National University System was established to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st century. The System is uniquely aligned to connect a diverse population of students to a network of innovative educational programs that are relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities. Dr. Jerry C. Lee has served as the System’s Chancellor since it was founded in 2001. In addition to John F. Kennedy University, the affiliates of the National University System are National University; National University International; the Division of Pre-College Programs consisting of National University Virtual High School and National University Academy; Spectrum Pacific Learning; and WestMed College. Entities related to the System include the National University System Institute for Policy Research, National University Golf Academy, and the Center for Integrative Health. For more information, visit: