Since 1989, the State Center Community College District (SCCCD) has successfully hosted and managed the nationally recognized, award winningExport Center program, also known as the Fresno Center for International Trade Development (CITD). Our Center has developed a well-trained and highly specialized staff that has the experience to anticipate clients’ needs and the knowledge to respond rapidly to any and all requests for training and technical assistance. Our Center is also a member of the statewide Centers for International Trade Development through the Economic & Workforce Development Program’s International Trade Initiative.
The mission of the CITD is to increase the level of international trade activity throughout California, fostering development and expansion of the state’s economy. Its goals are: 1) to serve existing industry on a one-on-one basis, 2) to assist the State of California and other agencies by initiating joint projects, researching industries, and targeting foreign markets, and 3) to further the SCCCD’s mission of research and service by focusing on practical international trade education and training.
Examples of specific agribusiness projects and program achievements include:
- E-Star Award: Received the President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting from the U.S. Department of Commerce (2001).
- Export Achievement Certificate (EAC): Received the EAC from the U.S. Department of Commerce in recognition of the CITD’s entry into new international markets (2008).
- California Agricultural Export Training Certificate (CalAgX): Partnered with California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to provide a comprehensive training program designed to meet the educational needs of food manufacturers and agricultural producers seeking to export their products worldwide (2008-2010).
- Export Readiness Training (ERT): Partnered with Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA) and Co-Director with Long Beach City College CITD in targeting small and medium-sized, women and minority owned companies to prepare them for first-time entry into foreign markets (2005-2008).
- Fresno County Ag Report: Published every year for the Fresno County Farm Bureau, it provides information to better understand the impact of agriculture exports to Fresno County’s economy. The report also provides exporters with data that can help them stay competitive in the worldwide marketplace.
- International Video Market Briefing: Introduced this innovative executive program. An international distance learning program and videoconference delivered monthly from Fresno with U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico and simultaneous link-ups options with fourteen additional community colleges statewide (1999-2009).
- International Virtual Trade Shows: Customers send products to U.S. Embassy and Commercial Service and FAS work together to bring buyers in to the U.S. Embassy. During videoconference live time, California sellers present products to foreign buyers. Great preliminary sales results.
- Trade Missions: Provide diverse and reverse Trade Missions and Catalog Shows for the San Joaquin Valley and California (1998-2010).
- Project of the Year Award: Received from National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Center (1991, 1995, 2004).
- California Mexico Trade Assistance Center: Selected by Governor Davis as a California-Mexico Trade Assistance Center, (1999) and created the Center for International Trade Development (1997).
International education highlights include:
- Faculty Development: Since 2003 the CITD has supported and funded SCCCD faculty for a total of $109,000.00. One of our success stories, in January 2005, Debbie Shapazian and Chuck Evren were funded for a Theatre Production in Drama and Dance in South East Asia then took students on a study abroad program to SE Asia.
- Virtual Office of International Education (VOIE): The VOIE will extend and enhance the global awareness and global competency of faculty, students and the citizenry of the greater San Joaquin Valley by reorganizing and consolidating the education and training programs and services of SCCCD’s international programs. (This project is funded in part by U.S. Department of Education, International Programs, Title VIB).
- International Internship Program: Initiated and implemented a program that trained and mentored interns from Fresno City College, Reedley College and California State University, Fresno. All interns to date, after having served internship, placed/working in positions worldwide for companies such as PeopleSoft and Citicorp.
Areas of Training
The Center for International Trade Development provides excellent seminars and training program in the following areas:
- International Trade and E-Commerce
- Post Harvest Decay
- Export Licensing and Regulations
- International Business and Marketing
- Leadership of Women
- Basics of Exporting
- Virtual Trade Show
- Export Marketing – “Matching” Buyers and Sellers
- International Contract Law
Fresno County is the leading agricultural county in the nation producing over 200 crops. The leading crop is grapes, followed by poultry, cotton, tomatoes, milk, garlic, cattle and calves, almonds, peaches, and plums.
Jim Zion, Meridian Nuts, credited the Fresno CITD with finding new clients and providing technical assistance resulting in increased sales. And, perhaps Dean Franciskovich, Area Director of Marketing for World Wide Sires, Ltd., sums it up best: “The CITD has succeeded in focusing the efforts of outstanding individuals and organizations, and helped to extend local horizons to reach every corner of the globe.”