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Strome College of Business Touts Services at First Economic Development Leaders Meeting

By Noell Saunders

Old Dominion University's Strome College of Business is strengthening its relationship with surrounding communities by finding new ways to serve.

The college recently partnered with Opportunity Inc. to showcase research and workforce support capabilities to more than 20 regional economic development leaders. Faculty demonstrated services ranging from compiling data, marketing, sponsored research agreements and business consulting. Economic development agencies can also support students who seek internships and full-time work.

"We want economic development agencies to reach out and leverage us more for support when they have an opportunity to either acquire or retain business," Dean Jeff Tanner said. "We are absolutely committed to meeting workforce needs in this region, but we can also provide data that can help these agencies succeed."

The event showcased the Gregory A. Lumsden Trading Room and Research Lab and the George W. Jensen Communications Lab as state-of-the-art facilities that can help agencies perform better.

The Lumsden facility, which is housed in Constant Hall, is equipped with 24 Bloomberg Terminals, making it one of the largest academic Bloomberg labs in the United States. Each terminal includes a processor, dual monitors and a special keyboard to access specific Bloomberg financial functions. The lab also has a Rise Display, showing real-time data from across the globe.

"We've been using the Lumsden Lab's Bloomberg Terminals to provide companies like S.L. Nusbaum and others the data they need when evaluating properties for acquisition or to secure tenants," Tanner said. This supplements the economic analyses long provided to the community by faculty in the Strome College's Dragas Center for Economic Analysis & Policy.

The Jensen Lab, which is next to the trading room, provides a technology-rich setting for students to help students learn skills in public speaking, interviewing, business negotiating, professional sales and more. Tanner noted that the Strome College of Business is devoted to supporting the economic growth of the region by turning out the skilled graduates that companies need.

Larry Filer, associate vice president of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and head of the new Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, explained the role of the new facility he oversees and how it will serve as an outreach resource for small businesses and economic development agencies in the region, complementing the Strome efforts.

"Old Dominion has built a strong innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem with the cities through the new institute," Filer said. "One of the approaches that has already proved to be beneficial to cities is using our data analytics to attract firms. Bolstering these collaborations with the assets inside the Strome College of Business will be very attractive to the cities."

Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick recently announced the formation of the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at his 11th State of the University this year. The new institute brings together all efforts to promote economic development, including the University's Strome Entrepreneurial Center and Center for Enterprise Innovation.

As Tanner and Filer repeated throughout the meeting, "ODU is here to serve."

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