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CEO class begins in Shelbyville

It was only the first day for the Shelby County CEO class, but one business owner said he was already impressed on Monday.

“I was very impressed with them,” said Jake Buhnerkempe, co-owner of J&R Collision Centers. “They were sharply dressed. They asked very articulate, well-thought-out questions and showed a true interest in all aspects of the business.”

On Monday morning, a group of the Shelby County students listened to Buhnerkempe talk about his business at the Shelbyville J&R facility. The boys were dressed in polos or button-downs with long pants and the girls sported dresses or wore other business-casual attire.

They asked questions about opening up new locations, employee qualifications, and business-related scenarios.

Buhnerkempe led the students around the facility, explaining how his employees restore crashed vehicles to their original state.

CEO, or Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, is a high school class that teaches students about business through first-hand experience. They meet and talk with local business leaders and start businesses of their own.

Buhnerkempe said he first got interested in the CEO program after three Effingham County students pitched it to him at the Effingham J&R location a few years ago.

“They sold it better than those that do that kind of thing for a living,” he said.

Since then, he’s seen what CEO can do.

“They’re learning skills that frankly are not taught in school,” Buhnerkempe said. “By leaps and bounds, they have a head start over their peers.”

Before the students left the Shelbyville facility Monday, he told them that CEO works.

“We were thrilled to hear it was coming to Shelby County,” he said. “We really believe in this program.”

By: Stan Polanski
Source: Shelbyville Daily Union

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