UTSA Institute for Economic Development expands to Washington Place site

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(Aug. 23, 2011)--The UTSA Institute for Economic Development recently expanded to office space adjacent to its Downtown Campus facilities at 215 S. San Saba, known as Washington Place. The move was necessitated by program growth in UTSA's economic development portfolio, which last year served 37,800 entrepreneurs.

Two specialized business assistance centers relocated to the new space, which will be known officially as the Institute for Economic Development at Washington Place. The programs are the Contracting Resource Center and the Sustainable Business Program. The main reception number is 210-458-2458; all staff numbers are the same.)

The Contracting Resource Center provides technical assistance, advising, networking and training to small business owners wanting to expand their business via public contracts and as private sector suppliers. Directed by Terri Williams, a 1990 graduate of UTSA (B.A., political science), the center also features specialty services in energy-saving solutions, veterans businesses and women-owned business opportunities. (View a list of the Contracting Resource Center training classes.)

The Sustainable Business Program assists small businesses in becoming more efficient, profitable and environmentally friendly. The staff under the direction of Robert Velasquez holds training events including "green bag" lunches, sustainable business practices, disaster resilience, sustainable manufacturing practices and green technology commercialization. (See a list of training classes.)

A new initiative to establish a San Antonio Clean-Tech Business Incubator also will be co-located at Washington Place. This office is coordinated by the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and the College of Engineering.

"As the San Antonio economy picks up steam, the demand for UTSA's business development services has increased dramatically, and through this expansion, we are ready to respond," said Bob McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development.

The nearly 8,000-square-foot facility features a reception area, offices, a conference room and a large training room with capacity for 40 people. Washington Place, which also houses some City of San Antonio and private offices, has approximately 20 visitor parking spaces adjacent to a UTSA faculty-staff parking lot.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses and fostering economic development. Its 13 centers and programs provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders.

Programs serve San Antonio and the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community engagement mission.