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Local business owners 'Meet the Feds'

New training courses, workshops unveiled in Auburn
By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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From bookkeeping to taxes, regulations, social networking and marketing, local business owners have a bounty of training options right here in Auburn. The Sierra Economic Development Corporation ––– known as SEDCorp ––– has greatly expanded its training programs. “We have (added courses) based on what we’ve heard from small businesses we are working with,” said Sandy Sindt, SEDCorp operations manager. “We’ve also invited the state and federal government to put on noon workshops. We’ve added noontime (sessions) in addition to the evening and Saturday classes.” The new noon offerings, called “Meet the Feds,” feature a different agency each Thursday in February. Presentations include the State Board of Equalization on sales and use taxes, State Franchise Tax Board on state tax and small business, the IRS on “You want to start a business?” and Department of General Services on doing business with the state and eProcurement. SEDCorp’s evening and Saturday workshops cover the spectrum of starting and running a business, with topics repeating every other month and rotating among Auburn, Grass Valley and Placerville. Most of the courses are $45. The federal series is $10 per session. “We’re a nonprofit, so we don’t have funding for classes,” Sindt explained. “We (collect) just enough to pay the instructor and anything above that pays for marketing expenses.” One of the most popular courses is Internet marketing. “It’s a search engine optimization (course) — how to get people to come to your website,” Sindt said. “We have a fabulous instructor, Coryon Redd. He is in great demand.” Entrepreneurs can learn how to build a website and attract customers to it in a series of classes at the Placer School for Adults. The five-session class gets a lot of interest, with 16 or 17 students enrolled for the course that runs Feb. 10 to March 10. Local Business Success Online focuses on local marketing. Another of the popular classes is computer program director Arij Mousa’s Introduction to the iPad. “More and more small businesses are looking to the iPad as one place where they can conduct a lot of business,” said Judy McCoy, principal of Placer School for Adults. McCoy also recommends the Graphic Design and Fine Arts course offerings. The Adobe CS5 series takes students through Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and Dreamweaver.” Another class is dedicated to social networking sites for businesses.. A plus for the enrollees is the recent addition of a Mac lab. For those who can’t attend class, there are ed2go online learning options through the Placer School for Adults and the Greater Sierra Small Business Development Center. The Greater Sierra SBDC recently launched its ed2go program, according to Director Panda Morgan. “We have about 300 classes and the reason we launched it is because we realized a lot of folks in rural areas were not able to come to our workshops,” Morgan said. One of the advantages is that enrollees can work at their own pace. “Classes start every six weeks,” Morgan said. “(Participants) can look at (the schedule) and (If they miss a week for some reason), they can come back and catch up along the way. It is designed for people on the go and those who cannot sit in a traditional learning environment (for whatever reason).” Classes range from business to special interest. “They are wonderful classes,” Morgan said. “When we launched it, we had our first signup within 10 minutes.” The Greater SBDC also offers a variety of business courses through area workshops. Business owners can also find support through the Golden Sierra Job Training Agency Connections Center in Auburn, which sponsors workshops through the California Employers Association. Reach Gloria Young at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com.