MCC hosts discussion on new business opportunities

Energy Flier

100 Years, 100 Stories 

Metropolitan Community College leaders were happy to host a discussion surrounding climate change, solar energy and business opportunities.

Dr. Joseph Seabrooks, MCC-Penn Valley president, welcomed Ron Busby, president and CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, from Washington, D.C.

Busby visited Kansas City on Nov. 12 to talk about new tools that may help African-Americans in Kansas City start or grow their businesses.

The event was hosted by the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce and the discussion portion was sponsored by MCC and Flossie Mae catering.

Dr. Joe Seabrooks, MCC-Penn Valley president (from left); Lauren Garrott, partnership coordinator of Heartland Conservation Alliance; Richard Mabion, CEO of Building a Sustainable Earth Community; Jordan Whyte, owner of Noble Pitch; Christal Watson, president/CEO of Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce; Ron Busby, president/CEO of U.S. Black Chambers Inc.; Robert Reed, associate research professor, University of Missouri’s Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium; Nyamusi K. Igambi, director, U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, U.S. Commercial Service; Dennis Murphy, chief environmental officer, Office of Environmental Quality, Office of the City Manager

Key community and business partners took part in roundtable discussions to develop ideas and theories to elevate business options.

Professor Robert Reed of the University of Missouri and the university’s  Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium Reed (MEERC) are working to “help weave energy efficiency into the fabric of the Midwest.”

After the morning roundtable discussions, Busby attended a lunch at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where a micro-loan pilot program was launched. The three-course, 15-week credit-bearing program includes online classroom instruction taught by University of Phoenix School of Business faculty, and takes students through courses including personal cash flow, market analysis and financial performance. The program targets African-American small business owners, including Heartland Black Chamber members.

Dr. Joe Seabrooks of MCC-Penn Valley (from left), with Ron Busby of the U.S. Black Chambers, Christal Watson of Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce and Chris Kelly, MCC’s supplier diversity coordinator

Chris Kelly, Chris Kelly, MCC’s Supplier Diversity program coordinator, works with the College’s purchasing department and business leaders to proactively encourage the use of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned and historically underutilized business as well as SBA-defined small business vendors.

“Clean air and climate change are the fastest growing initiatives in America today,” Kelly says. “There are opportunities for minority businesses to develop in this industry.” She said she was pleased to help facilitate and welcome the important conversation.

KSHB’s “NBC Action News” covered the tour. Click on the link below to take a look.