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Murray State University announces new business outreach initiatives

MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University has announced new outreach initiatives to develop and support the business community.

Murray State President Dr. Bob Jackson said the University remains committed to regional support for entrepreneurial and economic services while also involving student and academic advancement.

“Murray State University has been providing entrepreneurial and economic development support services to the region since 1981 and we will continue to do so,” said Jackson. “While we continue to rebalance budget realities with academic programs, we will not sacrifice our role as an activist and catalyst for small business as well as industry growth. We will continue our support in the region through a new outreach initiative in our Bauernfeind College of Business.”

Tasked with providing that outreach will be Chris Wooldridge, former district director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) at Murray State University. In his previous role at Murray State University, Wooldridge oversaw regional support for small business development and economic initiatives. In this new role, Wooldridge will continue to connect academic, economic and entrepreneurship fields for student and community advancement. He will advance student engagement and entrepreneurship by working with business and industry, growing the connections of Murray State’s colleges with businesses and seeking student experiential learning opportunities.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to advance Murray State University and its strong commitment to academic and economic success in the region,” Wooldridge said. “We will continue to work with service providers such as the Small Business Administration and CEDIK (Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky) to ensure services continue in west Kentucky.”

Dr. Tim Todd, dean of the Bauernfeind College of Business, sees this as a great opportunity.

“Chris has a well-developed network of contacts and a successful history of working with chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and area development districts, as well as elected officials and other stakeholders of the University,” Todd said. “He also has a proven record of working with business and industry in our region. Chris will be working in the region to provide individual services to business and industry, providing presentations and training and continuing to develop student opportunities with business and industry. He will be seeking collaboration among our colleges, our students and our communities to support job and wealth creation.”

“This is just the first step in our plan to support the region in this fashion,” Jackson added. “You will see additional initiatives building on this outreach in the near future as we continue to grow our impact in the region.”