US Senator Kristen Gillibrand came to the Hudson Valley on Thursday to announce her support for the Women’s Enterprise Development Center.
The senator is working to secure a federal investment for the effort that would see creation of a satellite center on the Marist College campus in Poughkeepsie.
“I think we can ignite a very powerful economic engine by just finding these great women with business ideas and helping them get started,” said Gillibrand.
She made her comments at a stop at Oxyvita, Inc., adjacent to Stewart Airport in New Windsor.
That company, owned and operated by a woman, created a blood substitute.
The Women’s Enterprise Center would aid minority and women owned local businesses, giving them the tools to become entrepreneurs. It would offer a variety of services such as training programs, networking opportunities, technical assistance, and mentoring.
Dr. Roger Norton, dean of the School of Computer at Marist, said the campus is “very excited” to welcome a WEDC satellite center. The training programs that would be offered at the satellite center would help create jobs, and help rebuild the Hudson Valley economy after last year’s Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Gillibrand has sent a letter of support of the satellite center to the Assistant Secretary of the Economic Development Administration, John Fernandez.