By Elizabeth Pemberton – Contributing Writer
The Emerging Minority Business Leaders Program, also known as EMBL, is a nationwide program that helps empower students from a wide variety of ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and technology leaders, and after a two-year absence, it is returning to West Liberty this summer.
The program was created under the leadership of U. S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan in 1995 and is funded exclusively by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.
“If there’s one thing America needs to compete in the 21st-century economy, it’s to create entrepreneurs who develop the technologies, businesses and jobs of the future,” Mollohan said. “I’m very proud that this national program is run from my district.
EMBL brings gifted college students and business leaders to our area that otherwise might not know what we have to offer. I have great confidence in WLU’s ability to make the program reach its full potential. ”
West Liberty has been involved with the program since 2005. President Capehart stated, “WLU is very proud that we will operate the Emerging Minority Business Leaders (EMBL) program. EMBL brings student leaders from across the country to our campus to teach them to be the entrepreneurs of the future. The program takes minority students and those from economically disadvantaged regions who have the desire to develop the technologies of the future. We simply cannot afford to ignore the talents of all of our young people– regardless of race or economic condition. Our program gives them the skills they need to succeed.”
This year’s Summer Institute will be the first training seminar following a two-year hiatus. In 2007 and 2008, the funding for the institute expired. This year, West Liberty was awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency to fund the program.
Each year, 50 to 70 students participate in the EMBL program. The program is open to all juniors, seniors and college graduate students with a minimum 3.25 grade point average who want to learn how to become a business leader. The program helps students sharpen their skills and teaches students about technology transfers, intellectual property, patenting and preparing a business plan. Students who participate not only get an opportunity to advance in their field but also receive three academic credits and an academic stipend.
Although the program has always been primarily for juniors and seniors, Kristy Kosky, West Liberty’s EMBL adviser, is encouraging everyone who is interested to apply. Since this is the program’s first year back, advisers are willing to consider younger candidates who meet the requirements.
In order to apply, students must write an essay and send in letters of recommendation. Students looking to know more about the program can contact Kosky at (888) 764-1003, ext. 102, visit the website http://embl.westliberty.edu/, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook users may visit to EMBL’s Facebook page to receive updates on events, activities and deadlines. Applications will be accepted until April 25, 2010. The 2010 Summer Institute will be held on the WLU campus June 13-25.