Under the Rural Business Service (RBS) 1890 Land-Grant Institution Rural Entrepreneurial Program Outreach Initiative, Virginia State University received funding from USDA and entered into a cooperative agreement with RBS to develop a program to improve the operations of potential and existing businesses through technical assistance and business management training.
The overall goal of this program is to provide current and potential business owners in selected rural and impoverished communities with opportunities to gain entrepreneurial, business management and information technology skills that will enable them to start, own and operate a profitable business successfully.
The project area of the program is Brunswick, Halifax, Lunenburg and Dinwiddie counties. Each of these counties is characterized by significant poverty, high unemployment, and limited educational achievement.
Since 2003, the College of Agriculture’s Mobile Computer Lab has been traveling statewide to remote, rural locations where Internet access is either limited or non-existent. Equipped with 12 laptop computers, a 42-inch plasma television and satellite capability, the lab takes university resources on the road directly to the people where they live and work. It’s used to teach computer classes to adults and provides experiential learning opportunities for youth. The lab has successfully taught business owners how to develop a business plan and farmers how to register to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp Program) from customers. The lab is also used at high schools throughout the state to teach students the importance of agriculture and help them prepare and register for college at Virginia State University.
Download the Mobile Computer Lab rules, regulations and application form and email to Troy Tucker at TTucker@vsu.edu. For more information on the Mobile Computer Lab, contact Troy Tucker at TTucker@vsu.edu or 804-720-6069.