March 12, 2009

Media Advisory -- Operation Bootstrap Ceremony

The first Operation Bootstrap graduation ceremony and grant awards presentation is set for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus. Dignitaries from the University and Delta Regional Authority will be in attendance.

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the ceremony, which will celebrate the accomplishments of those participating in the intensive business training program from SIUC’s Entrepreneurship and Business Development Program in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority. The Dunn-Richmond Center is located at 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road.

More than 30 participants in Operation Bootstrap will be graduating. Participants in the first round of the Operation Bootstrap program are from Jackson, Williamson, Pulaski, Alexander, Perry, Union, Massac and Johnson counties. From those graduates, up to 15 whose business plans meet the competition criteria could be recipients of business development grant funding.

The goal of Operation Bootstrap and its grant funding is to create at least 30 new businesses in the Southern Illinois Delta counties during the next year. The first round of business training is culminating with the graduation and grant award ceremony. The second round of recruitment for the program is kicking off in Du Quoin in April.

For more information about Operation Bootstrap or the graduation and awards ceremony, contact Kim Sanders, program coordinator, at 618/453-2078.