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Chase Awards $40,000 to NAU

The NAU Franke College of Business was recently awarded a $40,000 check to help promote economic development for small businesses within the Flagstaff community.

Representing the college and the Center for Business Outreach, Darren Choate wrote the grant for the money through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

$15,000 of the $40,000 will go towards the CBO’s 35th Annual Chase Economic Outlook Conference, co-sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Flagstaff Business News. Chase Bank has been a strong partner of the conference for several years.

A majority of the $40,000 will support student-faculty teams at the FCB to help create internship-type programs with the Sunnyside businesses in Flagstaff.

“Part of [the grant] will support faculty and student teams and experiential learning, but also increase financial literacy, particularly in the Sunnyside area [of Flagstaff]. It’s really a great gift,” said the Director for the Center for Business Outreach Wayne Fox.

FCB administrators will be working closely with Coral Evans, chairman for the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. Individual businesses in the Sunnyside neighborhood can request specific areas they would like assistance with – marketing, finance, management, or accounting. From there, the FCB and the Center for Business Outreach will match a faculty member to that particular request. That faculty member will then recruit their own students who will work with the business for about a year.

The program is modeled after a similar one already in place at the University of Washington. “Washington runs it as a for-credit program for their students,” says Darren Choate. “Students are actually getting credit for it, which is what we want to do here – run it like a lab-type class where students earn three or four credits.”

The program is extremely beneficial for both businesses and students. Not only will the students get class credit and valuable experience, but the local businesses will also receive business assistance and business education.  The grant is scheduled to last for one ear.

See a video about the grant at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkd9IG_-ujw

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