VETERANS’ BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTER (VBOC)
In 2010, the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services was one of only fifteen recipients of a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) grant to help veterans open or improve small businesses. This grant enabled the NMDVS to create the New Mexico Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Albuquerque to help veterans in the state and throughout SBA Region VI.
In an effort to reach out to more veterans, the VBOC along with Wells Fargo bank, local chambers of commerce and other resource partners, present the popular VBOC On the Road workshops—an ongoing series of free business development breakfast or lunch workshops throughout the state to help veterans realize their dream of business ownership. Attendees can also take advantage of private one-on-one business consultations following each workshop.
The VBOC also presents an On the Rez program similar to the On the Road workshops, but tailored specifically to Native-American veterans and have information about programs specifically for Native-American veterans and entrepreneurs.
Targeting transitioning active-duty personnel is also a priority with the VBOC—through a Boots to Business program featuring seminars at military bases in New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and western Texas. These intensive two-day seminars focus on an Introduction to Entrepreneurship course for transitioning active-duty service members and their spouses. Attendees then take an eight-week online course through the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University for a more academic approach to the small business world.
The VBOC also presents its annual New Mexico Veterans Business Conference–free day-long conferences providing information about available help for veterans in the business world, and an opportunity for attendees to network with each other and with federal and state prime contractors.
The VBOC is managed by Joseph Long, who prior to coming to the NMDVS had a successful career owning several small businesses. From 2004-2006, Joe also served as the Project Manager during the construction of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. He served 37 years with the Marines and Marine Corps Reserves—and was presented with a Purple Heart Award after he was wounded in the Vietnam War. Joe eventually retired as a Colonel with the Reserves.
NM Veterans’ Business Outreach Center
Joseph Long, Director (505) 383-2401
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