East Texans take initiative, create business opportunities

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - It was a lesson about practical math for some East Texas students. As the old adage goes: Measure twice, cut once.

"I always wanted to do that and my grandfather did it," said Rickey Collins.

But, it's never too late to start over.

"Trying to get ahead in life and get a better job," said Collins, who is unemployed - hopefully not for long.

He and nearly a dozen other East Texans have been getting, free, hands-on training. It's part of the Construction Career Academy at Texas College.

"It's a pretty intense course ," said Project director Debbie Jasek.

She says the course was designed to meet diversity goals in the construction industry, but...

"There are a lot of people who are really struggling, looking for some new avenues for employment," said Jasek. "We're looking at them going beyond just entry level. We're looking at trying to breed our own new subcontracting companies."

Nearly two years ago Dewayne Williams was laid off at Goodyear.

"I think losing the job actually pushed me, or forced me to go after my dream," said Williams.

It's reported nearly half of all small business fail within the first five years, but Williams was determined to own his own business. He chose bottled water. He created a website. Krystal Clear Water now has more than a dozen East Texas clients.

"A small business is just one contract, one business deal away from becoming successful," said Williams.

Chris Craddock with Kilgore College says they're offering a new entrepreneurial course.

"A course like this would be a good board to propel them into owning their own business...knowing what the inner workings [are like]," said Craddock.

Williams says he knows...

"It's not going to be easy," he said. "It's going to be tough. Do your homework. Do your do-diligence."

And, maybe the hard work will payoff. Registration for Kilgore College's "How to Start and Operate a Business" class ends when the course fills up. The cost is $99 for course materials. It begins October 1st.

Class Information:
Kilgore College's "How to start and operate a small business in East Texas."
Starts October 1st
Classes will be held 6:30pm to 8:30 pm
October 1st to November 19th in room 107 of the Hendrix building at KC-Longview
The cost is $99 which includes 8 weeks of instruction and materials.
For info and to register call the KC Small Business Development Center at 903.757.5857

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