The Small Business Development Center of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County earned the “Highest Job Creation 2011” award from the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network.

The center created and retained nearly 600 jobs in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, according to the center. The center also ranked number one out of eight in job retention.

The economic collaborative began hosting the small business development center in 2010.

“I take great pride in our team and the reputation we have earned in our community as a result of our hard work, competence and dedication to our mission,” said Ray Bowman, SBDC director of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, in a prepared statement.

In 2011, the collaborative’s small business center served more than 500 area companies, facilitating an increase in sales of $13 million in the region and providing access to various forms of capital exceeding $11.1 million, the center said.

Mark Madler