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CEO program gets updates

MT. VERNON — The Jefferson County CEO board met at Rare Chop House Wednesday afternoon to discuss changes in the CEO program.

Donnie Wilson, President of the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship (CEO program), presented two new additions to CEO: CEO Connect and CEO Next.

"CEO Connect is sort of our own private LinkedIn," Wilson explained. "We have 700 signed up and we hope to get the rest of the classes."

The social media platform allows students of the CEO program to register and become a part of the CEO Connect group. The site will provide job listings, available internships, a place to post resumes and different materials the CEO community would be interested in.

"When I came on board we had already started this program, and I got some kids together and asked them how many of them would like this platform versus a Facebook group," Wilson said. "One-hundred percent of them liked this. The more people we get on there the more valuable it will be and the more content-driven it will become."

In addition to CEO Connect, Wilson presented the idea of CEO Next. The Next program is designed to encourage students to keep the business they start while participating in CEO.

"CEO Next is going to be first, a trade show that we're going to do in Effingham," Wilson said. "We're asking any kid on the fence about keeping their business or who are definitely keeping their business to apply for the trade show."

Wilson said the goal is to encourage students to keep their businesses going and to get them some confidence and a competitive edge. Three cash prizes will be awarded to the top three booths at the trade show, which will be held in June.

The following day there will be break-out sessions for CEO alumni. Students will be able to discuss what they need to get their business to the next level, and will be getting advice on things like getting rid of bad debt, leasing property, or anything else business-related.

"The goal is to be mentors to the alums," Wilson said. "They want to help them, as well as track it."

Source: Mount Vernon Register-News

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