By Bob Fowler Roane State staff writer
A local business consultant with vast experience has been named the director of Roane State’s Tennessee Small Business Development Center.
Stephen Williams, well known in the Oak Ridge and Roane State service area, begins his new duties on Monday, February 8, in his office at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
He replaces long-time director Jutta Bangs, who has taken another job.
“I’m really excited about being a part of Roane State and their efforts with workforce development,” Williams said. “I’ll be able to contribute what I’ve learned in more than 35 years in business and owning businesses.”
“Stephen’s rich history in the small business arena as well as his vast network of business contacts will make him a strong asset in his new position,” said Roane State Director of Workforce Training Kim Harris.
Williams, an Oak Ridge resident, formerly owned a company that made components for heavy industry. He also established a manufacturing consortium that spanned 20 counties in East Tennessee and has been involved for years as a business consultant.
The Oak Ridge Small Business Development Center serves Anderson, Campbell, Cumberland, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, and Scott counties. The center’s phone number is (865) 483-1321. The local center is sponsored by Roane State, the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Tennessee Small Business Development Centers offer no-cost and low-cost training for potential business owners and existing businesses. The centers provide free confidential consulting and counseling on an individual basis.
Many former executives and business owners serve as center directors. They can review plans and proposals submitted by entrepreneurs starting new businesses. Center directors also conduct or participate in workshops, seminars, and classes on a variety of business and management topics of interest to small business owners.
The centers are not lenders, investors, or grantors, but they do provide advice to owners of startup firms about financing and the development of proposals.
The Tennessee Small Business Development Centers Network is hosted by Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and is an accredited member of the National Association of Small Business Development Centers.
The association is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, participating universities and community colleges, and regional support partners.
For more information about Roane State Community College’s Small Business Development Center in Oak Ridge, visit tsbdc.org/rscc.