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Investors needed for final push to start CEO

With just a few weeks left to raise the funds to start the Greene County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) program, board members are worried the program may not move forward.

CEO Board President JD Rose said Dec. 1 is the deadline to raise the last of the $35,000 needed for the program.

“We have a $15,000 gap to close in three weeks,” Rose said.

With the money raised from community investors, the program’s coordinator, Midland Institute, provides all the necessary training, and the funds also help to pay for a local facilitator to lead the students in the program.

Rose said the board has been talking with investors and hopes the community understands the importance of the program.

The CEO program has a goal of introducing students to an environment to get first-hand experience in the business community.

As part of the program, students do not sit in a traditional classroom setting, but would instead utilize local businesses as a central meeting place throughout the county, introducing them to employers and business opportunities right here in Greene County that they otherwise may never know about. It also helps to teach students the soft skills needed to be a successful employee. With those connections and new knowledge, the students would then create their own business.

Rose said he and other board members recently attended the trade show in Knox County, and he said they were impressed with how quickly the program is making an impact on its students.

Rose said the program currently has 11 students and was started about a year and a half ago.

“It’s amazing how much more invested they feel in their county. That’s what we need and I’m afraid we are going to be just short,” Rose said.

Rose shared his own personal experience, detailing why he wished such a program had existed when he was attending Linton-Stockton High School.

“I graduated from here and went away for 20-plus years and now I’m back. I didn’t see why I should stay here, and I wish I had seen it sooner,” Rose said. “There are so many unique opportunities here in Greene County.”

Rose encourages anyone with questions about the program or interested in becoming an investor to reach out to him at 812-847-4911.

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