In a world of skyrocketing higher education costs and a growing need for skilled healthcare professionals, Re’Shane and Steven Lonzo saw an opportunity to provide a solution. In 2002 DRM International Learning Center was born: a private, state-licensed vocational school, providing training and certification for aspiring medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, phlebotomists and patient care technicians.
The project started by accessing personal savings accounts and retirement plans, but when faced with the need to access additional capital for the growing business, Re`Shane reached out to the Michigan SBDC (MI-SBDC) at Lansing Community College and consultants Teena Rairigh and Darryl Horton.
“My experience working with Teena and Darryl was phenomenal. They were able to break down concepts and give me ideas on how to do my strategic plan and marketing. In addition, they helped me understand my finances, which was very important as we looked out to where we wanted to be in five years,” said Re`shane.
“Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, and is not for the weak at heart. It takes hard work and dedication. We’ve embraced this journey and gotten to a place all small business owners want to be – where it can operate without us, and we can focus on other passions, like giving back to our community,” Re`Shane continued.
All that hard work paid off. Drywall, carpentry and residential building were added to course options and recently, the Lonzos purchased a new 6,800 square foot building and plan to add programs such as LPN, registered behavior technician, nail technician and even CDL training.
It’s paying off for students, too, with DRM International Learning Center delivering a 95% employment placement rate. Re`Shane attributes this to strong relationships cultivated with employers who are hiring.
“Thank you to the MI-SBDC for allowing entrepreneurs like me the opportunity to connect with professional consultants who really focus on getting to know who you are and truly care about your experience and the growth of your company,” summarized Re`Shane.
Learn more about DRM International here.