New Statewide Office Helps California Businesses Participate in Global Marketplace

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The CITC team.

Global e-commerce is expected to be a $1 trillion industry by 2020, but some 75% of small to mid-sized businesses feel ill-equipped to compete in the global marketplace.

The newly-created California International Trade Center (CITC) will help meet the demand for e-commerce training and development while giving students and faculty opportunities for hands-on learning and real-world experiences.

The CITC was created by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office to enhance the competitiveness of small and mid-size businesses through data-driven online trade, support services and offline cross-border trade training. The office will also provide opportunities for community college students to work on real-world projects that help businesses throughout California.

“The California International Trade Center will be the go-to resource for supporting companies through online self-service tools and digital trade training,” said Leah Goold-Haws, California Community Colleges Statewide Director for Global Trade. “We bring together the best data, SaaS solutions and government resources to empower small businesses to grow their sales overseas.”

The need for an office like the CITC has never been greater as 82% of online shoppers have made at least one purchase from a merchant outside the United States.

Under the direction of leaders from business, education and government, the CITC will provide services including online tools, workshops, one-on-one consulting and data-driven reporting. It will also serve as the hub for community college students and faculty for coursework and internships related to e-commerce and online marketing.

“CITC links workforce development to economic growth by linking our community college students to small business doing global ecommerce through the Virtual Internship Program (VIP). The VIP gives students real-world experience, under the direction of ecommerce/SEO experts, in the service of small businesses using ecommerce as a mechanism to grow sales overseas. This unique opportunity prepares our workforce for high-paying, middle skills jobs and California companies to take advantage of the global marketplace” said Goold-Haws.

The CITC will also respond to strategic goals from California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office for Business Development to increase business owners’ understanding of and access to the global marketplace.

The CITC will begin its work in several regions throughout the state, including Los
Angeles/Orange County, Inland Empire/San Bernardino, and Central Valley/Mother Loade.

For more information, please visit the California International Trade Center’s website.

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