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Pike County CEO Program supports young entrepreneurs

PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

Pike County officials are working to keep future entrepreneurs in the area through a program that's set to start next year.

Pike County CEO Program Chairman Shawn Rennecker says it will allow high school seniors throughout the county to meet and learn from local business owners.

Rennecker says students will learn everything from how to dress during job interviews to how to start their own businesses. Rennecker says the goal at the end of the program is to help students start their own businesses.

"During this program students will actually write two business plans, speak with loan officers on that and start their own business," Rennecker said.

Rennecker says the program is funded through local organizations and other businesses. He says this program could help keep young people in the area, while creating more small businesses.

"The key for rural economic development is in the future we need to grow our own," Rennecker said. "We need to have more entrepreneurs that will come back and live and work and start their own businesses here in the county."

Pittsfield High School junior Jake Ottwell has dreams of becoming a self made entrepreneur. Ottwell says he already has a small business raising bees for honey. He says this program will help him take his business to the next level.

"I think it's a really great opportunity," Ottwell said. "It shows us that there's others in the community that have done the same thing."

Junior Juliana Fray says the program will teach her skills that will help her become a successful leader within the community.

"One of the things I thought that was very interesting at the program was the man that talked to us said he learned a lot about shaking hands," Fray said. "And that's very important. And some people really don't know how to have a firm hand shake."

Rennecker says students can sign up inside their school's guidance office. He says they still need more mentors and business owners to get involved in the program.

Video Link: http://www.wgem.com/story/30707946/2015/12/09/pike-county-ceo-program-supports-young-entrepreneurs?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=12062713#.VmsfKrGwi6o.gmail

By Bryant Clerkley, Multimedia Journalist

Source: WGEM.com 

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