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Meeting showcases benefits of student CEO program

SHELBYVILLE – A Shelby County group is hoping business interest in a program for high school students could lead to more jobs and more businesses throughout the county.

Shelby County Economic Development is hosting a CEO Information program from 4 to 5 p.m. today at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lake Shelbyville Visitors’ Center in Shelbyville. CEO stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities. The program, which originated in Effingham, helps students create and market their own businesses in partnership with local business owners.

“CEO is an economic development tool that every business owner should know and understand,” said Shelby County Economic Development Director Anna Kiley. “This is a transformational opportunity for our kids and our economy.”

Students in a CEO program meet for 90 minutes each day and receive two high school credits for the class. Businesses participating in the program provide mentors for students trying to start their own businesses and real world opportunities to problem solve and expand their business reach.

In Effingham, students have met with local and regional businesses, even job shadowing Major League Baseball executives with the Cincinnati Reds.

Effingham CEO Chairman Dick Rhodes said the Effingham program has grown to two classes of 20 students each, who complete a written application for the program.

“The impact CEO will have on Effingham County will be measured for years to come,” he said. “We believe we will see a new generation of entrepreneurs returning to Effingham County to start businesses and raise their families.”

Kiley is looking for the same outcome.

“CEO is a chance for students in this area to not only have their own businesses, but stay in the area and help grow the entire economy. It’s a win-win,” she said.

Source: Herald & Review

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