College Welcomes New Partners at Ithaca Extension Center

Ribbon cutting ceremony at IEC

Tompkins Cortland Community College welcomed three new partners and neighbors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 29 at the College’s Ithaca Extension Center. The New York State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), TST BOCES, and the Job Club of Challenge Workforce Solutions are opening new spaces in Tioga Place, the building owned by the College Foundation at 118 Tioga Street in downtown Ithaca. Tioga Place already houses the main Ithaca branch of M&T Bank and several offices on the lower floors and the College’s Nancy S. Lieberman Extension Center in Ithaca is located on the fifth and sixth floors. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome our new neighbors to our Downtown Ithaca home in Tioga Place,” said Tompkins Cortland President Orinthia Montague. “We are all in the same business of helping our community grow, and we’re doing it by working directly with our community’s best asset: the people. I’m happy that we are able to provide space for these three organizations to work alongside the College in the same building, working together for our community.”   

The New York Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University (SBDC) has a new satellite office on the fifth floor of Tioga Place. The SBDC was created in 1984 to assist entrepreneurs, business, and industry find solutions to their problems, leading to increased profitability and increased investment and job creation for the community. By assisting new and existing small business firms, the SBDC contributes to the stability and growth of the small business sector of the economy in New York State. The SBDC has been serving the region from its home base at Binghamton University, but will now be better situated to assist their local clients. The SBDC office in Ithaca will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.  

“The New York Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University is committed to providing services to small businesses in Cortland and Tompkins counties and is excited to collaborate with Tompkins Cortland Community College to do so,” said Rochelle Layman, SBDC Regional Director. “This space provides a convenient, confidential location for our Small Business Advisors to provide no-cost technical assistance to both potential and existing small business owners.”

Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES is using space on the sixth floor to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and space on the third floor for administration offices. The ESL classes are designed to help students learn enough English to reach their goals, which often include getting a High School Equivalency diploma, entering college, or getting a job. The classes are offered for students of different levels, ranging from intermediate to advanced, and feature teachers that develop lessons to meet the individual needs and learning styles of each student.

"The College and BOCES are natural partners in educating and training members of this community, so we couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to be co-located in the extension center,” said Nicole Eschler, TST BOCES Executive Director of Regional School Success. “Our adult students are enjoying this professional and contemporary setting to study. Our staff appreciates the attentive collaboration of the TC3 staff, and everyone loves the convenience of this well-maintained property.”

The Job Club of Challenge Workforce Solutions will be located on the fifth floor, with office open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Job Club assists individuals and families who receive public assistance benefits and supports the transition to self-sufficiency by developing the skills needed to obtain and maintain employment in jobs that offer opportunities for career growth. Job Club provides a six-week program of intensive career exploration, job-readiness training, and hands-on job search assistance and connections with a range of support services to meet the long-term needs of the individual and family.

“Through our collaboration with TC3 and their space downtown, our clients and their families will have better access to our services, a safe meeting space to discuss barriers, and a central location that saves travel time and money for the individual engaging in services,” said Trisha Wilson, Challenge Workforce Solutions Director of Employment and Youth Services. “We will also have direct access to work with TC3 staff to assist our clients in furthering their education or enrolling in certification programs.”