McDonald County’s Chamber of Commerce Holds Open Meeting
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.”