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Creating opportunities for the ‘YouTube generation’

The Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development has looked to nurture local talent in 2017 by launching the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities program in Knox County. The CEO program includes classes that will help students learn the basics of running a business, including financial management and networking skills. The classes will start in fall 2018 and include 15 to 25 students from Galesburg School District 205, Knoxville School District 202, Williamsfield School District 210, Abingdon-Avon School District 276 and ROWVA School District 208.

In 2018, KCAPED will continue its emphasis on retaining local talent by seeking ways to connect youth with area business leaders.

“Talent retention happens when our community’s young people see pathways forward to careers in our community,” Springer said. “By putting our youth in close proximity to business leaders, we can create those opportunities. There are already some great initiatives like the ‘Great Galesburg Shake’ and Pegasus’ internship program. I think we can use those as building blocks to go even further.”

He added during his opening address at the event — which drew approximately 150 attendees, the largest attendance yet for a KCAPED annual meeting — that the most critical asset the community possesses is its young talent.

“There’s nothing more important to the companies that we work with than a skilled workforce,” Springer said.

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