UTSA's Robert McKinley to receive NASBITE International Trade Award

Robert McKinley

Robert McKinley

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(March 31, 2014) -- Robert McKinley, associate vice president for economic development in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, has been selected to receive the International 2014 Advancing International Trade Award for the State of Texas from the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). The award will be presented at the organization's international conference April 2-4 in Memphis.

NASBITE International is an educational organization dedicated to developing international trade professionals through the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) exam and credential, training programs and the annual conference. NASBITE International has been working to raise the level of practice in the field, provide professional development goals, and showcase competency for those practicing international trade and related professions. The NASBITE CGBP credential provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce and demonstrates an individual's ability to conduct global business.

McKinley and the Institute for Economic Development have been deeply involved in promoting the CGBP credential and training practitioners for the CGBP exam through the work of the institute's International Trade Center. The center was the first organization in the United States to offer CGBP training and was the first organization to be recognized by NASBITE International as an accredited CGBP training provider. Since 2005, the center has trained more than 250 professionals and has achieved a passing exam rate of 88 percent, better than the national average of 75 percent.

For more than a decade, the institute has led the international expansion of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model by providing expert guidance, hands-on training and accreditation standards as well as operational technical assistance to foreign partners. Building SBDC networks in foreign countries is providing more small and medium enterprise competitiveness and new trade opportunities, and is promoting economic integration internationally.

"Increasing international trade and strengthening international markets for U.S. goods are key components of the institute's mission to develop the regional economy," said McKinley. "What this award tells me is that the direction that my team and I have been going on is working to boost the business presence of Texas in the global marketplace and that Texans are benefitting from increased trade. It's a real honor to be recognized by this outstanding organization."

A group of UTSA representatives attending the conference will travel with McKinley to show their support when he accepts the award.

Since 1979, UTSA's economic development programs have been building the economy one business at a time. The UTSA Institute for Economic Development currently hosts a variety of centers and programs that facilitate economic, community and business development at the local, regional and national levels. Programs serve the entrepreneur who is just starting a business to the experienced business owner looking for new markets as well as communities seeking to improve their economic health.

Follow the Institute for Economic Development on Twitter (@EconDevUTSA) and like them on Facebook (Facebook.com/UTSAEconomicDevelopment).

For more information on NASBITE International, visit www.nasbite.org.