Long Island City, NY—Lloyd Blankfein, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., which under his leadership launched the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative and selected LaGuardia Community College as its first partner, will deliver the keynote address at the College’s 41st Commencement Exercises on June 6.
Mr. Blankfein will address an expected 1,000 graduates who will be attending the exercises at the Jacob K. Javits Center North at West 38th Street and 11th Avenue.
“LaGuardia is honored to have Lloyd Blankfein, one of the most influential leaders in corporate America and stalwart supporter of small businesses and community colleges, address our graduates,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College. “Under his leadership, LaGuardia has partnered with the Goldman Sachs Foundation, the corporation’s successful philanthropic organization, as the first community college chosen to launch the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative designed to help small businesses expand and create jobs.”
“The story Mr. Blankfein will share with our students,” added Dr. Mellow, “is an inspirational one and that comes with an important message: education and the pursuit of knowledge opens doors that are unimaginable.”
“Goldman Sachs selected LaGuardia to be its first partner in our 10,000 Small Businesses initiative because of the vital role it plays in not only preparing its students for the workplace of the future, but also for bringing its expertise and resources to help local businesses thrive,” said Mr. Blankfein.
Mr. Blankfein grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Attending the city’s public schools, he graduated as valedictorian at Thomas Jefferson High School in 1975 and went on to Harvard where he earned his A.B. in 1975; in 1978 he received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.
Mr. Blankfein joined the J. Aron Currency and Commodities Division of Goldman Sachs in 1982 after working as an attorney in a law firm. He was named partner in 1988 and co-head of the J. Aron Division in 1994. He became co-head of the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division as of its formation in 1997 and was based in London in 1998 and 1999 in that capacity.
Mr. Blankfein served as vice chairman of Goldman Sachs from 2002 through 2003, with management responsibility for the FICC and Equities Divisions. Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, he served as the firm’s president and chief operating officer from December 2003 through June 2006.
Under his leadership, the company in 2010 launched 10,000 Small Businesses, a $500 million investment that helps entrepreneurs create job and economic opportunity by providing them with greater access to education, capital and business support services.
LaGuardia was selected to be its first partner in the national endeavor.
Since LaGuardia offered the program to the first class of small local business owners in June of 2010, 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia has provided entrepreneurship education to over 200 small businesses to help them grow their businesses and create new jobs.
10,000 Small Businesses is currently operating in Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Missoula, MT, London, KY, Washington/Oregon and Tennessee, and over 1,200 businesses have gone through the program.
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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.