Yellow Springs, Ohio. 45387
Organization Contact Details
Community Need: The Dayton Region must tend to its future entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to perpetuate and expand the Dayton Region’s renowned culture of innovation. Antioch College is uniquely positioned to support this work; for decades, Antioch College students have gone on to start entrepreneurial projects, businesses, and nonprofits that tackle the most difficult problems facing the planet. Antioch College is also building a focus on Socially Responsible Enterprise that explores new models for social entrepreneurship, innovative thinking, strategy and invention, and equips our students with the tools they will need to build the initiatives of the future, including those in the Dayton region.
Colleges can play a pivotal role in promoting economic development and addressing community needs. As articulated in a recent article from the Association of Governing Boards, “Colleges and universities cultivate entrepreneurship and incubate new businesses. Those who attend college are twice as likely to own a small business than those with a high school education or less.” A recent Inside Higher Education article also found that “higher education is, along with health care, a primary driver of human capital formation, workforce development and economic growth.” Indeed, as one of the largest employers in the Yellow Springs area, Antioch College already contributes positively to the Dayton area economy. As we continue to attract out-of-state students (e.g., 38% of our student body is from out-of-state), we are growing our enrollment which in turn creates jobs, and beyond this, we are training the next generation of entrepreneurs that will create workforce opportunities for the area. The transformation of the OKL will bolster these efforts.
Proposal: This project transforms the Olive Kettering Library (OKL) from a traditional library to a vibrant place of information, community, entrepreneurship, and engagement for Antioch College students and the larger Greene County community by:
-Stabilizing the Olive Kettering Library facility
-Creating a shared physical space to promote student learning and success
- Providing a Social Enterprise and Innovation (SEI) learning environment in the Olive Kettering Library to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs
First, in order to fulfill this mission for the space, the OKL facility must be stabilized. The most pressing maintenance concerns include the roof and the HVAC system. The College successfully fundraised $120k for roof repairs and that portion of the work has been completed. The OKL is now in need of HVAC repairs; these are especially important in the library setting as the associated dehumidifier is crucial to the preservation of archives and historical collections.
Next, this project creates an Academic Student Success Center that will include comfortable, partitioned areas that will be used for the Writing Center, language support, quantitative reasoning support, and peer tutoring.
Finally, this project includes the development of the C-Shop within the library. The C-Shop will include a coffee shop and convenience store within OKL that will be managed by student employees. Students will gain valuable entrepreneurial skills through the SEI environment within C-Shop, and this experience will prepare them to contribute positively as entrepreneurs to the region post-graduation with real-world experience bringing ideas from incubation to market.
Sources: https://agb.org/guardians-campaign/higher-education-contributes-to-a-strong-economy/; https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/higher-ed-gamma/how-universities-can-support-equitable-economic-development