McDon­ald County’s Cham­ber of Com­merce Holds Open Meet­ing

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Me­gan Davis

The McDon­ald County Cham­ber of Com­merce held its first open meet­ing on Sept. 10.

In ad­di­tion to lo­cal busi­ness own­ers, mem­bers of the newly-in­sti­tuted Stu­dent Cham­ber were also present. The Stu­dent Cham­ber is com­prised of 10 high school se­niors en­rolled in a su­per­vised busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence class. Stu­dents spend al­most two hours at the Cham­ber

build­ing twice a week and pro­vide cler­i­cal as­sis­tance. They re­ceive school credit for their ex­pe­ri­ence with real-world ap­pli­ca­tion of busi­ness prac­tices.

Stu­dent Cham­ber mem­bers Baylee Payne, Kiylen Jack­son and Jaxon Daw­den told

those present the stu­dents are cur­rently work­ing to or­ga­nize and record Cham­ber of Com­merce mem­bers while also re­cruit­ing new mem­bers, im­prov­ing the cur­rent web­site and de­sign­ing and cir­cu­lat­ing in­for­ma­tion on lo­cal events.

Cham­ber pres­i­dent Shawn Cooper in­formed guests of a new pro­gram — the Com­merce Cof­fee Shop. From 7:30 a.m. to noon on Mon­day, Tuesday and Wed­nes­day. Those who find them­selves on the Pineville Square are in­vited to stop by the Cham­ber build­ing to en­joy free cof­fee, con­ver­sa­tion and treats. Lo­cal busi­nesses can spon­sor cof­fee for the week at a cost of $25. The spon­sor­ing busi­ness is then en­cour­aged to bring its prod­ucts and ser­vices to be shared over cof­fee. Cooper said, af­ter one week in oper­a­tion, the cof­fee shop has been spon­sored for an ad­di­tional six weeks.

Tammy Clark of Four State Print­ing ad­dressed the au­di­ence re­gard­ing her ex­pe­ri­ence with the Work­force De­vel­op­ment pro­gram. The pro­gram places at-risk youth with jobs at no cost to lo­cal busi­nesses. Grant money funds 240 hours of paid wages, with the op­tion to per­ma­nently hire em­ploy­ees fol­low­ing the ini­tial 240 hours. If the match is not a fit, the con­tract can be ful­filled with­out an obli­ga­tion to hire.

Clark par­tic­i­pated in the pro­gram over the sum­mer. Al­though she didn’t end up hir­ing the em­ployee, she says the ex­pe­ri­ence was pos­i­tive over­all.

“Ba­si­cally, all I’m do­ing is of­fer­ing a place for these kids to work,” said Clark. “If you have a po­si­tion and you’re not sure whether you need another per­son, this is a great way to find out. Even if it doesn’t work out, there’s no wasted train­ing, re­sources or money.”

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