County’s Chamber Launches New Programs, Expands Marketing Efforts
The McDonald County Chamber of Commerce is making leaps and bounds in progress as the organization seeks to promote businesses and services throughout the area.
One of those new ideas is a Student Chamber of Commerce program that will utilize teens who want to gain valuable work experience. Chamber executive director Charla Sue Brewer said the Chamber is being gifted a great deal of manpower from the teens, who can carry out the day-to-day duties of the Chamber office.
Most of the Chamber members find it difficult to carve out some time to assist with clerical and promotional work.
Several teens will be able to lend that kind of help and receive credit via a high school class, Brewer said.
The juniors and seniors will engage the community, promote the Chamber of Commerce and learn more about conducting operations, Brewer said.
“It’s really exciting. I am passionate about youth and trying to influence and foster them in the direction they’re headed,” she said.
The program will be a long-standing commitment and keep the momentum going, Brewer said.
The Chamber also brought a new staffer on board last week. The photographer will assist the Chamber and be paid by the State of Missouri through the Summer Job Program, Brewer said.
Calling it a “neat opportunity,” Brewer said the staffer can bring needed help to the Chamber’s marketing efforts.
Other plans call for opening the board meetings to all members, a change that will take place in September. The meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of the month at the old 71 Community Room in Anderson.
The meetings will now give a business owner the opportunity to showcase his or her business, and the Chamber will then provide an educational resource.
“We want to engage and add value” to the membership, Brewer said.
Later this fall, Chamber officials will open the Pineville office to Chamber members as well as nonmembers, to discuss Chamber benefits and socialize. Brewer hopes the open platform will help drive membership and facilitate discussion for such.
Chamber member Monty Muehlebach, who serves as Sims Corner Church pastor and owner of Cowboy Catering Company, volunteers his time as an ambassador to help grow the organization.
Muehlebach is reaching the small business community, letting people know that they can change the outcome of a teen’s life by helping provide training and education.
The WorkForce Program is offered in McDonald County and sanctioned by the state. Students work at select locations and receive free training that enables them to transition into a full-time position upon graduation.
The program has been in play for quite some time. Muehlebach believes that keeping the program in front of people will help build participants.
“It’s a different approach for getting the young people involved, to have jobs ready for them when they graduate,” he said.
Connecting students with potential employers through the work-forceready program benefits all involved.
In addition to the programs already instituted, Muehlebach believes the new programs being launched will bring the community together even more.
“We have some viable ideas that will continue to happen. It’s only going to help,” Muehlebach said.
The county used to be flooded with people who vacationed, floated the river and enjoyed the natural beauty of the area. Officials want to build on that theme again.
“We’re hoping to drive that,” Muehlebach said. “It’s time to come back.”
“It’s really exciting. I am passionate about youth and trying to influence and foster them in the direction they’re headed.”
Charla Sue Brewer
McDonald County Chamber of Commerce