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May 2015

Grand Reopening Celebration for Small Businesses in the Washington Alma Neighborhood of San Jose

May 30 event will showcase collaborative project between local educational institutions and businesses

SANTA CLARA, Calif. May 29, 2015  -- On May 30, Santa Clara University undergraduate business students,  students from San Jose’s Center for Employment Training (CET) and four small businesses in San Jose’s  Washington neighborhood will unveil the results of an unusual business-improvement collaboration between the groups. 
 
The event will take place May 30 at 11 a.m., outside La Mejor Taquería, at 102 Willow St. in San Jose.  It will include complimentary burritos from La Mejor Taquería and a live mariachi band.
 
Speakers including San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara University business school Dean Drew Starbird and CET CEO Hermelinda Sapien will describe the success of the project, funded by a $25,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank’s Santa Clara Valley Region.
 
 The project, in its fourth year, brings ideas from SCU business-school students together with construction and other technical skills from CET, to help business owners in the low-income, primarily Hispanic community surrounding Washington Elementary School make improvements most fitting for their needs and customers. 
 
The students and business owners have spent the last 20 weeks building relationships, overcoming obstacles, and deciding on the best improvements each business would like to make, such as new point-of-sale technologies, or lighting or display improvements. 
 
Jeff Rademann of Wells Fargo Bank, whose funding made the project possible, will speak, and students from CET and SCU, as well as the business owners, will be available to talk about their experiences. 
 
The four businesses that were the focus of the project were La Mejor Taquería, Sidhu Market, Amigo Wireless, and Perfumería Jimena.
 
The project is part of Santa Clara University's Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, a program through the university's business school that focuses on small businesses in the Washington Neighborhood. 
 
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.
 
About the Center for Employment Training
Center for Employment Training (CET), a 501©(3) Community Based Organization, is a national skills training and human development program that helps prepare workers in various occupations and assists them with placement in jobs that pay living wages and offer career opportunities and growth. CET Students from the Green Building construction program in San Jose have participated in renovating small business establishments in the Washington Community, in partnership with Santa Clara University.
 
Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-554-5121
Leticia Dominguez | CET | leticia.dominguez@cet2000.org  | 408-534-5421