CEV to cease operations by year's end

Western Today staff

Western Washington University has announced that its Center for Economic Vitality will cease operations effective Dec. 31, 2012.

The CEV, which is operated through Western’s College of Business and Economics, is no longer financially feasible to operate after sustaining significant local and state funding cutbacks.

Western’s Small Business Development Center will continue operations in supporting area small businesses. As a part of an overall reorganization by Western and the College of Business and Economics, counseling services at the SBDC have been enhanced with the addition of a counselor from the CEV.

Western administrators have been meeting for the past three months with local business and governmental and economic development leaders to seek input in its decision making. The feedback received was that the CEV, while doing effective work, was somewhat duplicative of other area efforts.

In the past year the CEV has increased its focus on assisting companies in export-related work. But with increasing funding challenges, Western made the difficult decision to cease operations of the CEV; between now and the end of the year the CEV will continue to assist companies in export-related work.

The six CEV employees affected by this change will be assisted by the university in exploring their options. Western’s Human Resources will offer its services to all affected staff. This decision had nothing to do with the work of the current staff, which has been excellent and highly professional. The university thanks all of them for their service on behalf of Western and the state of Washington.

Western’s commitment to economic development remains strong, and the university will continue to devote considerable resources to area economic development both now and in the future. That includes support for the SBDC, which assists small business owners and managers in a variety of ways, including development of business plans, obtaining financing, managing cash flow or buying or selling a business.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 9:10am